VCB statistics: 2015 a good year for hospitality sector

With a month left to count, 2015 already has been a better year for the hospitality industry in Grand Junction than 2014, according to one measure of hotel and motel stays.

Lodging tax collections continue to increase, with year-to-date collections for 2015 topping the year-end number for 2014.

Nearly $120,000 in lodging taxes were collected in November, according to the latest report compiled by the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau. That’s an increase of almost $11,000 and 10 percent over the same month last year. November collections reflect hotel and motel stays in October.

For the 11-month span through November, almost $1.3 million in lodging taxes were collected. That’s an increase of more than $111,000 and 9.4 percent over the same period last year.

Moreover, the year-to-date total for 2015 tops the $1.25 million in lodging tax collections reported for all of 2014.

Other tourism-related metrics the VCB tracks also increased in 2015.

For November, nearly 25,000 unique visits to the VCB Web site located at www.visitgrandjunction.com were recorded, up seven-tenths of a percent from the same month last year. That brings year-to-date Web site visits to almost 509,000, 30 percent more than the same span in 2014. 

There were 324 requests for visitor guides in November, up more than 71 percent from the same month last year. Guide requests so far in 2015 were up 4.8 percent to more than 8,400. 

Research constitutes a leading indicator of subsequent tourism.

At the same time, though, 349 people were counted as visiting the Grand Junction Visitor Center in November, down more than 29 percent from the same month last year. The year-to-date visitor count at the center so far for 2015 has declined 2.8 percent to 13,561.