A 2013 Carson City visitors impact analysis showed lodging occupancy was up 4 percent and total estimated taxable sales increased $6.7 million to $273.4 million, according to a report Monday.
Joel Dunn, executive director at the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, told the bureau’s board the analysis comparing 2012 with last calendar year also determined the number of visitors had climbed from 630,660 to 653,552. Room nights at hotels and motels went from 250,262 in 2012 to 263,529 last year. Occupancy at the top five hotels was up from 58.8 percent to 62.9 percent, for the top 13 from 47.8 percent to 52.1 percent.
“Visitors come to our community,” said Dunn. “That’s new wealth.”
It also means sales taxes collected at the 7.475 rate from visitors amounted to about $20.4 million last year, compared with $19.9 million the previous year.
Jesse Dahmi, a board member, commended Dunn on the analysis based on Nevada Commission on Tourism and city lodging tax revenue data. But he questioned whether the overall $273 million figure might be a bit conservative. Dunn agreed with him, but said he wanted to keep the analysis conservative rather than make any assumptions or use any model that might be off on the high side. He also avoided using any rollover dollar estimates.
“These numbers do not reflect a multiplier,” he said, nor did he find a model with which he was comfortable that would figure how many jobs resulted from the economic activity generated by visitors including those in the city for the 2013 Legislature.
Dunn estimated the city should realize $27 million this year from sports tourism, or about 9 to 10 percent of the total, saying the bulk of the visitors’ impact comes from other travelers, including business and government-related people. But he said the multipurpose athletic center that should be built soon may bring in $5 million to $10 million more annually in impact during future years.
The board also heard a report on fiscal year lodging tax revenues through the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2013-14. Dunn said just under $971,000 has come in through January, which leaves about $387,000 more to come in the rest of the fiscal year based on projected revenues.
“We’re right on track once again,” said Dunn.
What isn’t on track, however, is sufficient bureau money to help out with city government’s bond payment in coming years on the V&T Railway indebtedness. Dunn told the board there is only $67,000 available.
“There simply is not going to be the money there to continue,” said Dunn.
Vice Chairman Stephen Lincoln said the board in previous years agreed to help the city’s general fund in paying that, but he voiced hope the city realized it wasn’t a continuing bureau obligation.
Supervisor Karen Abowd, also a bureau board member, asked Dunn if he had made City Finance Director Nick Providenti aware of the situation. Dunn said he had mentioned it and would make it clear in a future meeting as well.