I have now spent several posts discussing the 1997 and 2002 Economic Census data as it relates to the local economy, and, more specifically the hotel/tourism business in town. In this post I will look at the trend since the 2002 Economic Census, which makes the importance of seeing the 2007 numbers all the more important.
Between 2002 and today five hotels have gone completely out of business. These properties include both cottage motel properties and actual hotel structures. These five properties have resulted in a direct loss of 73 hotel rooms.
Between 2002 and today at least an additional four properties have gone through time share conversions. These conversions, which have involved site modifications, have resulted in the direct elimination of an additional 24 hotel rooms. The conversion of these hotels to time shares has also reduced the availability of 126 rooms for use by transients.
Overall, the last five years has seen a reduction in the availability of hotel facilities for tourists. At a minimum the number of operating hotel sites has been reduced by about 17%, the number of properties that are clearly no longer in the hotel stock. These changes will directly impact tourist expenditures on meals, entertainment and other retail services, hotel tax revenue to the town.
Looking at town room tax receipts between calendar year 2007 and 2008, these tax receipts decreased marginally between these two years (about a 1% decrease). The decrease in tax revenue between these two years is in line with projected national trends for decreases in Domestic Travel. However, the actual cost of Domestic Travel increased by 8.2% (“The U.S. Travel Insights’ Travel Price Index (TPI) expects trip inflation to rise by 8.2% in 2008, driven by significant increases in transportation and accommodation costs.” See Link). The conclusion is that the increase in the cost of accommodations and the relocation of some of the tourists to other hotels in town managed to off-set the loss of hotel rooms over the 2007 to 2008 time period.
Hopefully we can find some solid numbers to provide a trend on the guests actually using hotels in Dennis over the past decade. Given the increase in cost for accommodations has off-set a portion of the lost hotel rooms, it would appear that fewer people visited Dennis in 2008 over 2007. If this is true, this could mean leaner times for the remainder of the economy supporting the tourists.