Carson City’s lodging properties collected more than $16 million in revenues in 2015, up about $1.4 million from the previous year.
“That means we’re seeing lots of people visiting Carson City,” Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau told his board Monday evening. “They’re spending money and driving our economy.”
In 2014, the bureau collected $14.6 million, up from $13.8 million in 2013, in room revenues. The total for 2015 came to just more than $16 million.
Dunn also reported revenues are up 10 percent for the 2016 calendar year to date.
“I like that it’s consistently going up,” said Jonathan Boulware, chairman of the visitors board. “You don’t see it going up and down. It’s consistent.”
Before the meeting, Dunn said several statewide factors contributed to the overall increase.
“I think it’s a combination, starting with signs of our economy recovering from the recession,” he said. “It shows a collective effort between the Nevada Commission on Tourism, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and the rural communities marketing Nevada as a destination.”
Dunn also pointed to local effort, including an initiative to raise the room tax by 1 percent in order to hire a full-time staff member to oversee the coordination of arts in the city.
Dunn said he met with the 24 lodging property owners or managers in Carson City who contribute to room tax and 23 of them supported the endeavor, with one recording a “no position” because the property is in the process of being sold.
“It’s yet another opportunity to diversify and drive new visitors to our community,” Dunn said. “Our new cultural tourism endeavor will expand on our historical draw as well as enhance the business and leisure and sports and outdoor recreation industries.”
He said the bureau will be working in tandem with the state Commission on Tourism, which also is honing in on cultural tourism.
“Frankly, we’re behind the rest of the state when it comes to cultural tourism,” Dunn said. “The time is now, and we’re going to start rolling forward with this.”
He said drawing visitors to Carson City is critical for the local economy.
“Numbers from across the state show 28 percent of all jobs in Nevada come from the tourism industry,” he said. “We’re certainly feeling that in Carson City.”