The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses
in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Strong September lodging sales!11-12-2015
September lodging tax collection figures from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office show a very strong month for lodging in all regions of the county.
Using tax collections as a starting point, it is possible to calculate actual lodging sales, and from those figures you can then infer with a fair degree of confidence how well other business sectors dependent on tourism – dining, gift shops and other retail, gas stations, etc. – did for the month. And the figures support what everyone is saying: They did very well, indeed.
For example, in September 2014, reported Lutsen-Tofte lodging sales totaled $2.5 million, but this year they reached $2.8 million, a healthy 12 percent increase. For Grand Marais, the September 2014 lodging sales were $1.2 million, which climbed to $1.4 million in 2015, a 17 percent increase. And for the Gunflint Trail, lodging sales for September 2014 were $0.4 million; that grew to $0.5 million in 2015, a 25 percent increase.
While these figures serve as a quick way to keep abreast of lodging sales, they are somewhat rough: Lodging properties vary widely in when they remit the taxes from which these figures are extrapolated. Some forward collections monthly, some quarterly, some even less frequently.
To help better appreciate the trend lines, the county auditor - treasurer's office also provides what they call year-to-date "apples to apples" percentage comparisons. For 2015 through September, those figures show lodging sales overall increasing by 8.5 percent, Lutsen-Tofte up by 7.5 percent, Grand Marais up by 13.2 percent and Gunflint Trail up by 5.4 percent. All in all, 2015 continues to measure up as a banner year for Cook County tourism.