Cottonwood bed taxes rising again

COTTONWOOD -- Bed tax performance was one issue that came before a joint meeting of The Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and the City Council recently. Bed tax receipts directly support the chamber's visitor information program.

Chamber President Lana Tolleson told the council members and Chamber board, "We are beginning to see an upswing ahead of last year."

The revenue picture had begun to slide since 2008. The 2008 numbers reflect the additional 1 percent sales tax and the highest revenue of the seven-year period. The dwindling revenues since 2009 reflect the economy slowdown.

One exception between the 2011 and 2010 figures is shown in May when the Smoke Out West motorcycle event moved from Cottonwood Fairgrounds to New Mexico.

January and December are the slowest months for revenues with March and April are the highest months.

The Verde Valley Birding Festival is held in April, Thunder Valley Rally in September, Rhythm & Ribs in October.

More heads in beds

Tolleson said that events that encourage an overnight stay by visitors increase the amount of revenue for Cottonwood. Those events include the Birding Festival, the Brian Mickelsen run and the Thunder Valley Rally.

"Rooms filled on Saturday night during Rhythm & Ribs. During the Thunder Valley Rally it was 84 percent," according to Richard Faust, Cottonwood Community Services manager.

The Birding Festival and the wine people tend to share the same demographics, Tolleson believes.

"The Old Town Association is making a big deal about identifying birds in Old Town," she noted.

Faust said occupations are changing, "Golfing has been going down, while birding has been going up."

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