Lodging tax stats up for two months, down for 2010

The lodging business in Mesa County fared comparatively well during October and November with increases in lodging tax collections during those months over the same months in 2009.

According to the lodging tax report filed in December, which reflects business in November, $69,053 was collected by hotels, a 4.7 percent increase over the December report from 2009.

The November report, which reflects hotel business in October, indicates hotels collected $95,565 in lodging taxes, 4.1 percent higher than the same month in 2009.

According to reports for 2010, a total of $1.15 million in lodging taxes were collected, a decline of 5.5 percent from the total reported in 2009.

The trend in lodging tax collections generally follows the trend for sales tax collections. The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County reported year-to-year increases for the final quarter of 2010. Reports for the entire year show collections last year dropped from the levels of 2009, however.

The city reported $46.11 million in sales tax collections for 2010, 8.9 percent lower than in 2009. The county reported $32.68 million in sales tax collections, 6.4 percent less than in 2009. The January city and county sales tax reports, which will reflect consumer spending during the important holiday shopping season in December, are scheduled for release this month.

Meanwhile, the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau reported a spike in the number of brochures the VCB mailed to people inquiring about the Grand Valley. The VCB mailed more than 19,300 brochures, 85 percent more than it mailed in 2009. Visits to the VCB website also increased, up 3.8 percent to nearly 211,000 unique visits.

Personal visits to the visitor center on Horizon Drive in Grand Junction continued to drop in 2010, however. There were 10 percent fewer visits from Colorado residents, 5 percent fewer visits from U.S. citizens outside of Colorado and 11 percent fewer visits from residents of other countries. VCB officials have reported in recent years that more travelers search for information on the Internet rather than go to visitor centers.