Nashville’s hotel occupancy tax collections set a record in October.
Music City’s more than 32,000 hotel rooms pulled in nearly $2.2 million, according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. That’s a 12.6 percent increase over the previous record, set in October 2004.
Since January, the city has collected $17.9 million, a 7.1 percent increase over the same period last year. Butch Spyridon, Nashville CVB’s president, said the October collections still stand as a record even when adjusting for the 1998 increase in the hotel tax rate from 4 percent to 5 percent.
This year has been a year of broken records. In April, collections just missed the $2 million mark, falling short of projections. But June collections topped $2 million to break the record of October 2004.
The bureau operates on fiscal year that ends in June. Fiscal year collections surpassed $20 million for the first time.
October typically is the city’s strongest convention and meetings month. This past October’s list included such conventions as the Worship Facilities Expo, the Medical Group Management Association’s annual conference and the Tennessee Education Leadership Conference.
In addition to conventions and conferences, the Grand Ole Opry had its annual Birthday Bash, rock band Green Day performed at Gaylord Entertainment Center, and the GEC hosted an NBA preseason match-up between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks.
The latest numbers from Smith Travel Research show occupancy for October increased to 69.3 percent from 65.6 percent last October. The average daily rate rose from $78.85 to $84.20, a 6.8 percent increase. Revenue per available room, which includes money made from other guest spending in the hotels, increased 12.8 percent from $51.72 to $58.36.
The year could end on somewhat of a dull note, however.
Hotel rooms haven’t been selling well for the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl match-up between the University of Minnesota Gophers and the University of Virginia Cavaliers, according to hoteliers.
The game will be Minnesota’s third visit, and the team doesn’t bring its fans in droves to Music City. Virginia’s ability to draw is still a question mark.
Last year’s game was a blockbuster, with more than 66,000 tickets sold to see Minnesota beat the University of Alabama in a close game.