A new report from the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau says that the city’s lodging industry is bouncing back from the COVID-19 lockdown.
CVB President Tracy Kimberlin wrote in a letter Wednesday that the amount of revenue for hotels in the first half of May was almost the same as the revenue for the entire month of April.
While Kimberlin was joyful about that news, he also reminded residents that there is a long way to go, and the lockdown had a major impact on city and county revenues.
“While that’s news worth celebrating, the impact of the pandemic on the local economy has been tremendous,” Kimberlin wrote. “From March 1 through May 16, hotel revenue is down more than $17 million over last year, a 61.2 percent decrease. That means the city didn’t collect from hotels about $368,000 in sales tax and Greene County didn’t collect $303,000 in sales tax, and that doesn’t include sales tax that would have resulted from other spending visitors would have done while in the city. It also means $866,000 in lodging tax that provides funding to the CVB and other organizations, such as the Springfield Regional Arts Council, Discovery Center and the Sports Commission, wasn’t collected.”
Kimberlin also addressed an action by the Missouri Legislature that will allow Springfield voters to decide if they want to increase the city’s hotel tax. The increased tax revenue would be used to make capital improvements aimed at tourism, such as a convention center near Bass Pro Shops at Campbell and Sunshine; or an amateur sports complex. He called it a “shining star” for tourism.
The CVB also announced they had raised almost $4,100 for the Mother’s Industry Support Fund, a charitable outreach of Mother’s Brewing Company and Community Foundation of the Ozarks to help hospitality workers laid off because of the COVID lockdown.