Sales taxes hold strong throughout September

— Continuing a strong trend of growth even in the off-season, city sales tax revenues jumped another 7.1 percent this September as compared to September 1999.
Lodging again proved a good indicator of sales tax growth, as hotels and resorts such as the Sheraton hosted group business events and continued to draw tourists to the area.
The 7.1 percent represents an increase of $65,229 over last year.
The Sheraton hosted a number of conferences and weddings that filled the beds throughout the month. The Sheraton enjoyed a 20 percent increase in occupied rooms this September over last year's numbers. It also took in 29 percent more in room revenue.
"Months like June and September can by cyclical," said Sheraton General Manager Chuck Porter. "Groups rotate in and out of destinations. Some years, the groups cycle into you and you just do exceptional business. Some years the fall months will be softer."
Porter said the hotel probably benefited from the delay in the opening of the Steamboat Grand.
A big conference at the Sheraton can fill up the entire hotel, which includes a total of 315 units, Porter said. Those rooms can hold more than 600 people. Porter, however, isn't sure if the group business growth is part of a trend that will continue.
"It's been getting a little better, but it's still cyclical. We're trying to go after that cycle," he said. "Fall activities can draw a lot of people and we're trying to capitalize on that fact."
The Hotel Bristol also saw an increase in revenue in September, pulling in 18 percent more in room revenue than last year.
September is traditionally a slow sales tax month in Steamboat, as the summer tourist dollars begin to ebb. In the past two years, September receipts have been higher than those in October and November but lower than receipts during the earlier summer months.

To reach Avi Salzman call 871-4203 or e-mail asalzman@amigo.net

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