Increased hotel occupancy: Less taxes for you

Posted at 9:02 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 23:02:55-05

More and more people are staying in Denver hotels, which helped the city set a new occupancy record last year at 77 percent.

But as it turns out, those numbers are really good for our economy. 

"We're getting much busier than we were, year over year, about ten percent higher than we were last year at this particular location," Scott Perry, of Sage Hospitality and general manager of several area hotels, said.

And with more and more people checking into the Spring Hill Suites downtown and other hotels across the board in Denver, it's ultimately Colorado residents who benefit. 

"Visitors pay taxes. And those are taxes that you and I as residents don't have to pay," Visit Denver President & CEO Richard Scharf said.

The City of Denver's hotel tax is 10.75 percent -- and it adds up fast.

"If we took tourism out of our economy in Denver, every household would have to pay over $600 a year more in taxes just to have the same services we do today," Scharf added.

Basic economics show that if demand goes up, you should increase supply. That's what's happening downtown. Four projects are under construction and more could be on the way.

"We have a number of hoteliers looking at Denver as their next development opportunity," Tami Door of the Downtown Denver Partnership said.

That equates to construction jobs, more hotel rooms, and even more taxes to be paid.

"The total amount of tax that we've collected in the last five years from the hotel industry has gone up 65 percent, so it's really a big boost to our economy," Scharf said.

If you're planning on having someone come visit Denver, increased occupancy means increased hotel room rates. They're up about five percent across Denver.

The best advice from the professionals is that since demand for rooms is up, you should book even earlier.


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