El Paso: big hotel bucks roll in with bowlersEl Paso: big hotel bucks roll in with bowlershttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=125882016-03-25T05:00:00Z2016-03-25T20:05:00Z

‚ÄčEL PASO - The City of El Paso collected almost $1 million more in hotel tax revenues in 2015 than the previous year, an increase City officials attributed to bowlers coming into El Paso for a four-month, national bowling tournament.

The extra $993,602 collected in fiscal year 2015 will go into the city's hotel occupancy tax reserve fund.

That reserve helps the city pay its $533,334 share of a $1.6 million site fee charged by the United States Bowling Congress for El Paso to host the bowling tournament, which ran from March 7 to July 12.

City officials have not yet decided if they will tap into some of the extra $1 million to pay for increased tourism and convention marketing or other related efforts, said Bryan Crowe, the city's quality of life managing director, who oversees Destination El Paso, the city's convention and tourism bureau.

Destination El Paso's entire marketing budget comes from hotel tax revenues, he said.

The bowling tournament didn't boost El Paso's average occupancy rate in 2015, which remained about the same as in 2014.

Higher room rates helped increase El Paso County's hotel sales by 5.6 percent in 2015 to a record $185 million, according to data from STR, a Nashville company that tracks hotel data worldwide.

El Paso County's occupancy rate averaged 67.8 percent in 2015, only slightly better than the 67.4 percent in 2014, STR data show.

In the city's 2015 fiscal year, which ran from Sept. 1, 2014 to Aug. 31, 2015, Destination El Paso budgeted $9.1 million of hotel occupancy tax money for convention center and theater operations, convention center expansion debt costs, tourism and convention marketing and other department program costs.
El Paso Times
El Paso
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