Accommodations tax collections in Steamboat Springs continue to outpace 2012


— It still hasn't come close to rebounding from the huge dive it took in 2009, but Steamboat Springs' accommodations tax continues to show significant growth this year.

The city's latest sales tax report shows that accommodations tax collections through May are outpacing last year's revenue by 8 percent.

Although the 1 percent tax on nightly stays here generated 15 percent more revenue in May than it did in the same month last year, most of the gains this year are attributable to stronger lodging in the winter months when about two-thirds of the tax is generated.

Economist Scott Ford said the recent uptick in the city's lodging tax collections comes from a combination of the increased room rates, an increased length of some guest stays and an increase in overnight visitors.

“They're three points working in motion with each other,” Ford said.

According to his recent analysis of the tax, 68 percent of the revenue is generated from December to March while 25 percent is generated from June through September.

The revenue reached its peak of $855,000 in 2008 before it plummeted in 2009 to $651,000.

It rebounded greatly in 2011 before dipping slightly last year.

The tax's recent growth comes as the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday prepares to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would ask voters here to approve spending the tax for 20 years on hiking and biking trails and a new promenade on Yampa Street.

The council is projecting the tax will deliver no less than $600,000 per year, and if it generates more, it wants to split as much as $60,000 between improvements at the Haymaker Golf Course and marketing of the new amenities.

If the tax generates even more in a given year, the council has indicated it would like to see the excess put into a reserve fund, a proposition that also must go to voters.

The gains in the accommodations tax in the city's latest sales tax report mirror other financial gains in Steamboat for May.

The report shows the city collected 6.36 percent, or $59,949, more in sales tax than it did in May 2012.

The highest increase came from utilities followed closely by an uptick in collections from lodging and amenities.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

Preliminary May 2013 sales tax revenue

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago


Golf course is basically self sufficient. With all of the money being spread about then it is probably fair to say that there are some little projects around the golf course that will make it more attractive to tourists that will have a bigger impact than much of the other spending.

I wish the City Council would just vote to give this year's money to the bike trails.

If the City Council wishes to put an additional measure on the ballot that commits future spending to various purposes and intends to seek to issue bonds then they can also do that. But I and others will oppose that ballot proposal because bonding and committing future money is a bad idea that greatly increases the chances of yet another city government fiasco like Iron Horse. If Iron Horse had not been bonded and instead was leased with annual payments approved each year by the City Council then the next, newly elected city could have walked away from that fiasco in literally weeks instead of it becoming an long term fiasco costing millions


Eric Meyer 3 years, 9 months ago

Please consider learning how the trails proposal can benefit the whole community by attending this short presentation followed by a Q&A session that can be geared specifically towards questions and concerns regarding the Trails proposal.

When: Friday July 12th @ 5:30 PM Where: Library Hall What: Better Living Through Trails

Overview: This presentation explores the positive relationships between communities and their trail systems. Trails as community assets can improve quality of life and livability in a community for both the biking and non-biking members, and can attract significant tourism dollars in addition in increasing overall quality of life. With statistics and case studies, participants will learn how to turn a quality community trail system into a destination trail system, and learn how to effectively market a trail system. This presentation is a great way to show the community that a club is concerned with the health of the local citizens, the health of local green spaces and the health of the local economy.

More information and places to make comments on the trails proposed can be found here:


Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago


I suggest the trails group strongly consider opposing the SB City Council's plan of a ballot initiative to commit future accommodations tax revenues to bonds.

First, bonding reduces the money available for the needed work. Second, working on the trail projects would proceed better if done over a matter of years because that allows a better match of volunteers and applications for matching funds. Third, the trails projects should be subject to ongoing approvals so Trails Alliance has to remain responsive to the public. That you all do not fear facing each new City Council and showing them what they will be funding for the next two years. Fourth, bonding makes this project far too similar to the Iron Horse fiasco which demonstrates what goes wrong when one City Council makes suture commits that must be honored by future City Council.


Eric Meyer 3 years, 9 months ago


Stop by the presentation tonight (or email if you cannot) and we can discuss those points in more detail.


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