Occupancy Tax Revenue Up

Hotels to bed and breakfasts, are filling up fast for this weekend's Blueberry Festival, a continuation of a healthy trend. Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Melissa Sanford said,  " This is the 7th quarter in a row that we have had an increase in our occupancy rates and for this quarter we had a 19% increase."

The 13% hotel motel tax generated over $171,000. The total is shared between the state, city, and visitors bureau. The state keeps 7%, the city 6%, of which 60% of that amount is given to the cvb.

The CVB got lucky this weekend. The United States Postmasters convention begins Sunday. A lot of the attendees showed up a couple of days early to attend the Blueberry Festival. Hotel and visitor's bureau marketing specialists work together to attract groups to Nacogdoches. Fredonia hotel manger Jim Boiles explained,  "They're out of town at least twice a month, sometimes three times a month presenting, making bids for the city and you just can't sell the city and you just can't sell the hotel. You have to have a good combination of both."

The tax is needed, but can be expensive to travelers. Owners of The Brick House Inn try to give customers a break when they can.  Owner David Norton said,  " We're the only bed and breakfast in town right now that does state rate. Some of the other ones have done it and they've dropped it because the state only pays a certain amount and no more and it's considerably lower than our regular rates."

Norton wants the city to share more of the occupancy tax revenue. The city uses what it keeps for signage and primarily historical restoration. Both attract tourists.