Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - While the month of September may not seem like summer, September tourism tax numbers do mean summer, and it's confirmed to be a sweltering record–breaking money maker.And that's not all.
The mayor's office told FOX 21 Thursday they're more than prepared to have the entire year 2013 the best ever in hotel, food and beverage taxes.
Nearly $780,000 in tourism taxes flowed into Duluth in September, which is a nice jump from the projected $750,000 budgeted for the month.
"Even Duluthians and visitors are coming into our city spending money downtown, patronizing downtown businesses, spending money in our businesses -- our restaurants," said Daniel Fanning, a communication officer for Mayor Don Ness' office.
Fanning said the city has surpassed all projections so far for 2013 when it comes to hotel, motel food and beverage taxes.
"We are having more and more people coming up from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas, and it's becoming more of a regional destination as well. It's really exciting," Fanning said.
Tony Boen, with Grandma's Restaurant Company, said while this year's cold spring gave his restaurants a hard time in Canal Park, he said the record tourism taxes this summer means more support, more competition, and a healthier future.
"Great for the city of Duluth to be able to grab those taxes. It's great for Visit Duluth to be able to utilize those taxes to continue to market us," Boen said.
"Change is good ... we need to think outside the box. Try to develop and think about new ways to do things. There's a real spirit of that in town," Boen said.
And that spirit, at least for the mayor's office, means more eyes on the city, and a stronger potential of meeting the Mayor's population goal of 90,000 by 2020.
"Once they are here, they see the amenities that we have; they see our downtown growing; they see our city as a whole prospering and growing -- and that's going to make them entertained in coming back, possibly moving here," Fanning said.