Carson City lodging numbers see record increase
Special to the Appeal
Lodging properties in Carson City saw a nearly 27 percent increase in revenue in 2017 — the highest in the city’s history — according to numbers released Monday by the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority.
“It’s very good. It’s fantastic,” said David Peterson, interim director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. “They’re doing a great job with outdoor recreation, sports tourism, and the arts and culture scene is really taking off. All of these things are contributing to the lift.”
In 2017, visitors spent $21.84 million on lodging in Carson City. That’s up from $17.21 million in 2016, Joel Dunn presented during Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority Board’s meeting.
The top five properties brought in $14.27 million of the $21.84 million total.
Jesse Dhami, owner and director of operations for the Holiday Inn, said he has seen his hotel and others in Carson City benefit.
“If you look at the top three hotels, because we’ve been doing really well, we’ve all done renovations,” he said. “It’s allowed us to invest back into our properties and also give raises to our employees.”
Excluding the extended-stay properties — where residents stay more than 28 days — 272,208 rooms were rented in 2017. The Nevada Division of Tourism’s research department estimates 2.11 people per travel party for overnight visitors to Carson City.
“When you look at the five-year average growth rate from FY13 through FY17 of the three-eighths of 1 percent lodging tax collections in Carson City County, at 11 percent versus the state as a whole at 7 percent, they are really performing very well,” Peterson said. “There is no better predictor than heads in beds, from a tourism perspective.”
The Nevada Division of Tourism estimates each Carson City overnight visitor spends $148 per day. Using that formula, the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority estimates that in addition to the $21.84 million visitors spent on lodging in 2017, they also spent $63.17 million in the community. That’s up nearly $10 million from 2016 when visitors spent $53.36 million outside the cost of lodging.
“We’re talking $85 million in spending for those who stayed overnight in a hotel,” said Kyle Horvath, marketing manager for the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority. “That number is easily doubled when you consider people who stay with friends or family, rent private homes or are in town for a day trip. That’s money being spent in our restaurants and shops, putting dollars into local businesses.”
From the 2017 revenue, $2.4 million was collected as taxes by the tourism authority. From there, $436,714 went to the V&T Railway; $218,358 to the city of Carson City; $218,358 to Arts & Culture; $90,081 to Travel Nevada; $45,040 to Youth Sports and $1.4 million to the tourism authority.
“In addition to the city agencies that benefit from tourism dollars, we also partner with several local organizations and nonprofits,” Horvath said. “The success we’ve seen in the tourism industry has benefitted a number of groups in the community.”
The revenues reflect a steady growth over the last five years, showing a 67.9 percent increase since 2013 when lodging revenue was at $13 million.
Dunn, who took over as executive director of the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority in 2013, credits the success to the community’s rebranding as an outdoor and cultural destination, bringing in events such as the Epic Rides Carson City Off-Road.
“I’m really proud to be ending my career on such a high note,” said Dunn, who retired as executive director late last year and is now serving as a consultant. “We are well positioned to continue this growth in tourism by showcasing all Carson City has to offer.”