What a difference a year makes.
The Leavenworth Convention and Visitors Bureau saw sharp decline last year in the city’s transient guest tax revenue. But there’s been a major spike in the revenue this year.
“It’s more than doubled,” said Connie Hachenberg, director of the CVB.
The transient guest tax is charged to people who stay at lodging facilities. The money is used to fund the CVB. The CVB is operated through the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce as part of an agreement between the city government and the Chamber.
Last year, the CVB received $65,294 through the transient guest tax collections in the city. That was down from the $102,000 received in the 2010.
This year, the CVB has received $133,242, according to Hachenberg.
The CVB director said she can never predict how much will be collected for the transient guest tax.
“It goes up and down,” she said.
She said something that had a negative impact last year in terms of the transient guest tax revenue was the closing of the Nights Inn in downtown Leavenworth.
She said something that helped this year was a back payment for transient guest taxes that apparently was made by one of the lodging properties in town. That money was reflected in the transient guest tax receipts for April, which totaled $44,579.
Hachenberg said the total for April ordinarily would be between $4,000 and $7,000.
The city increased its transient guest tax rate from 7 percent to 8 percent at the beginning of the year.
Hachenberg said the transient guest tax receipts also may benefit as word spreads that people outside of the military can stay at the IHG hotel at Fort Leavenworth.
The increased revenue this year allows the CVB to do more marketing. But Hachenberg said she’s also putting $40,000 in savings in case there’s another bad year.
“We’re going to keep our nose the grindstone,” she said.