Oklahoma City is hosting more visitors than ever before, and it's showing up in hotel-motel tax receipts that have exceeded
The city has collected nearly $700,000 more in hotel taxes than it had this time last year, city budget figures show. That follows even more robust growth the previous year.
A collegiate swimming and diving competition and sports convention this fiscal year were among the big hotel room draws in the city that created the bump, according to a city memo.
More reasons to visit
There are more hotel rooms in Oklahoma City than ever before, and there are more reasons for people outside the metro to visit, said Michael Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The conventions business is good. We're seeing meetings that were booked hold their numbers, where in past years there could have been slippage,” Carrier said. “Leisure travel is doing very, very well. It's a combination of things.”
More people staying more nights in more hotels may be the biggest factor driving the surge in tax collections, but it's also changes in the market.
“Obviously, demand allows for increases in rates. Our average daily rate (for a room) has increased ... about five percent from the same point in time last year,” Carrier said. “Our rooms sold, just the straight-up demand, is up significantly.”
5.5 percent room tax
The 5.5 percent tax on hotel and motel rooms in Oklahoma City pays for the city's contract with the convention and visitors bureau to promote the city, improvements to State Fair Park and sponsorship of local events.
The growth in the hotel tax receipts also outpaces the growth in the local economy of about five percent, city Budget Director Doug Dowler said.
“That's pretty strong growth,” Dowler said. “We're certainly pleased with that performance.”
The hotel-motel tax will make up about $12 million of the projected $952 million city budget for next year, Dowler said.
By the numbers
Oklahoma City hotel-motel tax
Source: City of Oklahoma City