Hotel/Motel tax collections break records

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Juanice Gray | Editor

“The hotel occupancy taxes collected for December overnight stays was the most ever collected in one month.  My records go as far back as 1995,” said Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Executive Director Arlene Gould.  The fiscal influx of $64,833 ($62,936 after administrative fee) broke the $56,415 record set in November 2021.
The previous records were for $55,618 in October 2020, $51,301 in December 2021 and $50,194 in January 2020.
Hotel/Motel taxes slumped considerably during the heyday of the pandemic, dipping into the teens in April 2020 before rebounding slowly that August.
Gould presented the numbers at the Tourist Commission February meeting.
The CVB has received several awards including CVB of the Year for the second time in three years and the third time in five years but will have to step up their game to continue raking in the trophies. “We are no longer in that budget category,” Gould said. “We are now the next level.” And with that jump, comes stiff competition.

This article published in the Feb. 24, 2022, print edition.

CVB Marketing & Communications Director Kelli M. West’s report showed advertising disbursements in several magazines including full page ads in La. Assn. of RV Parks & Campgrounds, the spring issue of 64 Parishes and the April issue of Good Housekeeping and Women’s Day. Half and quarter page print ads promoting Natchitoches will also appear in eight publications including Taste of the South and Louisiana Life magazines.
The commission has grant funds to disburse to area festivals and events through a special events grant. Funds must be used to reach people outside the parish and is reimbursable only. Applicants can receive from $5-10,000. Deadline to apply is March 18 with grants awarded in April. The link to the grant application is available at www.natchitoches.com.Discussions turned to the strengthening presence of RV visitors to the area. Statistics show growth in that demographic, due in part to Grand Ecore RV Park, Natchitoches Pecan Orchard, Magnolia Hill and others.
The Commission has an open seat and is accepting applications. Former Briarwoods curator Richard Johnson retired in 2021 and moved from the area vacating his seat. To apply contact Gould at (318) 352-8072.