Study: Branson Campgrounds Do Well
Tourism tax receipts for the city of Branson, Mo., are reportedly up just 1.1 percent so far in 2012, but some industries are doing better than others compared to last year.
The biggest jump has been in campgrounds, which have seen an almost 30 percent increase in 2012, the Branson Tri-Lakes News reported.
Lenny Ammerman, general manager of Treasure Lake Resort, said they’ve seen a 7 percent increase so far in 2012.
“A lot of it has to do with gas prices, believe it or not,” Ammerman said. “I think people are traveling more locally, instead of taking long trips. And they’re staying longer.”
It appears to be a Tri-Lakes Area trend, as Table Rock State Park Superintendent Carl Bonnell reported campground attendance numbers are up this year for the park, as well.
Another big gain is in overnight rentals, which are up about 19 percent.
Small gains have also occurred in food (4 percent) and amusements (3.2 percent), which includes things like miniature golf and go-carts.
On the other hand, some industries have almost made up the difference in decreases from 2011. Vacation package resellers are down 14.6 percent, and hotel/motel is down 1.9 percent.
An almost 2 percent decrease in tax receipts from hotels can have a more significant effect on the total numbers, as it makes up the largest percentage of tourism tax receipts, according to reports from the city.
Through July, taxes from hotels and motels had accounted for about $1.8 million of the $4.6 million total, or nearly 40 percent.
A decrease in hotels and motels could be short-lived, however.
Branson Hilton Convention Center Hotel is set to reopen Sept. 15 after recovering from the Leap Day tornado, therefore numbers could improve.
A month-to-month comparison over July of 2011 versus 2012 shows a slight increase in tourism tax receipts for the industry (0.3 percent).
Only theaters come close to matching the impact hotels have on tax receipts.
Theaters have accounted for about $1.28 million so far in 2012, or about 28 percent of the total.
Total theater receipts for the year-to-date show little change from 2011, up 0.3 percent.
By comparison, a substantial increase in campground numbers doesn’t have the same impact overall, as it makes up less than one percent of the total tax receipts.