Tourism in Bend is booming. That, in spite of a poor economy. Numbers for the entire summer won’t be in for some time, but by at least one count, the month of July turned out to be the best on record.
For people like Doug LaPlaca, room tax collections are thought to be the most accurate indicator of the overall health of a tourism industry.
LaPlaca is president of Visit Bend. He says this July, the city collected more than a half million dollars in room taxes. That’s more than a 10 percent increase over July last year.
“But perhaps more notable is that that is following a 12 percent increase the July prior. So now we have two double-digit increases for the biggest month of tourism two years in a row. That’s very exciting news.." LaPlaca says.
LaPlaca says so far this summer Bend has had a strong mix of leisure travelers and visitors coming into town for group events.
He says that’s given hotel operators the compounding effects of high occupancy rates coupled with the ability to charge more per room.