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Muskegon County hotel occupancy rate increases generating higher tax revenue

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Muskegon County is attracting more visitors and more guests at county hotels mean more tax dollars. Over the past three years Muskegon County has collected over $1 million dollars in accommodation taxes.

This year was the highest with over $1.2 million collected.

“That upward trend is very encouraging for us. We’re continuing to work with our tourism partners to build on that.” That’s Bob Luken, Muskegon County community development director. He attributes success to the building of a strong sales staff over the past three years focusing on the group tour, meetings and conventions and sports markets. “Plus we’re boosting our general marketing to the industry contacts and also to leisure visitors so that’s really helping us. The festivals in Muskegon County are growing every year they’re seeing record numbers too.”

Put it all together and its filling the more than 1,600 hotel rooms across the county. Luken says hotel owners feel good about a 70 percent occupancy rate. Last year the average was 49.3 percent. Lower in previous years. Through October of this year the hotel occupancy rate has climbed to 54.6 percent.

Luken points to the success of the Watch Muskegon campaign and downtown development that includes new restaurants and craft breweries attracting a younger crowd.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.