Shawn Parker of Sheridan Travel and Tourism presented the department’s annual report to Sheridan’s city council on Monday, revealing that, in terms of lodging tax revenues, this year was the second most profitable on record.
This year, lodging tax revenues brought in $632,370. The most profitable year on record, fiscal year 2014-15, brought in $670,004 in lodging tax revenues. The 2017-18 year may be the most successful on record, however, as Parker explained that the 2014-15 year revenues had been “buoyed significantly” by one-time payments from the state.
Visits in September and March played a large factor in contributing to this year’s lodging tax revenue growth.
Over the past five years, September revenues have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7.46 percent, surging from $66,524 to $95,337. By contrast, August revenues this year are recorded at $99,361, but August revenues have only experienced a growth of 0.66 percent since the 2012-13 fiscal year.
“We always talk about expanding out the shoulder season—increasing tourism outside of the dead of the summer,” Parker said. “We know it’s busy right now. We know it can be packed on the mountain and in town. Where we have a lot of room for expansion potential is in the shoulder season.”
Sheridan Travel and Tourism has taken multiple approaches to increasing shoulder season traffic, including hosting local sporting events and conferences.
“There was a huge jump in those February numbers reflecting January and then again in March—those were some of the state and regional hockey tournaments that we won,” Parker said.
Sheridan Travel and Tourism plans on hosting a soccer tournament this year, which will add to sports-related revenue gained during the shoulder season.
Parker stressed the importance that summer tourism and shoulder season events have on the local economy.
“Without the revenue generated by the travel and tourism economy, every citizen in Sheridan would pay $494 more in taxes for existing government services,” Parker said.
According to the report, travelers in Sheridan spent around $108.5 Million while in town, resulting in 1,050 jobs.