Port Angeles to reach $500,000 mark in hotel tax revenues for first time

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Record hotel tax revenues point to tourism being up in Port Angeles during 2013, according to a tourism industry panel discussion held Monday at the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

For the first time, Port Angeles will break $500,000 in hotel tax income in 2013, chamber Executive Director Russ Veenema reported.

Hotels have reported an average 54 percent occupancy rate, which translates to 252,223 visitors within the Port Angeles city limit, Veenema said.

“This doesn’t include those who are here on a day trip,” he said.

Veenema estimated that Clallam County will receive $1.3 million in room tax revenue this year.

“This is new money brought in from out of the area,” he said.

Veenema said there has been an estimated 40 percent increase in tourism dollars spent in Port Angeles in the past 10 years.

Visits to Olympic National Park are up by 9 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, and visits to Hurricane Ridge are up 38 percent over the same period in 2012, said Barb Maynes, spokeswoman for the park.

“The year 2013 was a roller-coaster year for us,” Maynes said.

The year began with an increase in visitors thanks to the park’s 75th anniversary, followed by a 6 percent budget reduction and the October government shutdown, during which the park was shuttered, she said.

The park counted 2.9 million visits, according to park statistics.

Maynes pointed out the increase in visitors includes the shutdown period.

Similarly, Ryan Malane, vice president of marketing for Black Ball Ferry Line, reported a 9 percent increase in ridership on the MV Coho ferry.

Canadian travelers accounted for 38 percent of the ridership on the Coho, Malane said.

The “Get off the Rock” campaign to get more Vancouver Island visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula has been successful, he said.

For the first time ever, he said, Canadian tour companies are including Port Angeles in their Pacific Northwest tours.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 16. 2013 6:52PM
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