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Monday, March 29, 2010

Lodging tax revenue 2009

While we still hear the steady drum beat out of Washington and Wall Street that the economy is improving, most local newspapers tell an entirely 'different' story...

I mention occasionally that I live in Joplin, MO. It's a fairly nice smallish community in southwest MO. with a population of something over 40,000 people...

Like most small communities, and likely large as well, we have too many 'places'. Too many restaurants, too many car dealerships, new and used, too many retail outlets... Too much 'stuff'...

No one wants to go out of business... but sometimes business' have to just close their doors... Some are here, as they are all over the country.

IMO, our government will not admit that what this country needs is a good old fashioned depression to recover... The wealthy elites and politicians cannot allow that to happen because our economy would go into melt-down mode. Which I believe it eventually will anyway...

Today's local paper (The Joplin Globe) includes an article that takes a close look at our lodging industry. I don't imagine Joplin is much different than most cities it's size, or otherwise...


"The numbers paint a gloomy picture of Joplin's lodging industry."

"An analysis of lodging 'tax revenue' for 2009, coupled with industry data from Smith Travel Research, shows that about 51,360 fewer guests visited Joplin's hotels in 2009 than in 2008."


"Lodging-tax revenue decreased by 10.2% in 2009 compared with the figure for 2008." Room occupancy fell 10.8% or 42,800 room nights.

"A 10.2% market decrease is a huge decrease and is unprecedented in our history," said Pete Hall, GM of Resident's Inn by Marriott. When you consider that Joplin's rate of decline is now at more than twice the national and state average, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a problem."

"A 10.2% decrease means that nearly 50,000 fewer guests visited our city, ate in our restaurants, shopped in our stores and bought gas and groceries. The hit to our local economy is approximately $6.2 million in lost economic impact."

"In the past 3 months, far more restaurants have closed in Joplin than have opened."

Some hotels are down as much as 20% and 30%.

Lodging tax revenue for the city declined by $113,000 in 2009. Revenue from the city's general sales-tax revenue declined by $119,500. The total loss in tax revenue generated solely from lodging nights was $331,800.

The forecast is not good for Joplin's hotel industry. The report indicates that the Joplin market will most likely continue to see overall declines, resulting in further erosion of the lodging-tax revenue when compared with that of 2009.

"The Joplin lodging market has experienced 17 consecutive months of decline, and there is little reason to believe that any sustained improvement will occur within the next 12 to 18 months," Hall said.

Randy Shippy, director of operations for Comfort Suites and Quality Inn, said the lodging industry as a whole is feeling the impact of the current economic climate.

"No matter what state you're in, it's down," said Shippy of lodging-tax revenue.


It seems to me that the governments plan is pretty much using the same play book that they did after the dot-bomb disaster of 2000... Which is to ignore ALL of the MILLIONS of Americans who have lost jobs that are not coming back. We are faced with our second consecutive jobless recovery. There seems to me to be an effort to merely sweep under the rug the 16 MILLION Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession. Apparently the FED plans to keep interest rates artificially low, not for an 'extended period', but FOREVER! In addition, this time around, the federal reserve banking system has proven that they will simply print money forever as well...

Washington seems to hope that by pretending these unemployed Americans do not exist they can paint a picture of a recovering economy in time for the 2010 elections...

Good luck with that...


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