Think you know what tourism does for the City of Clinton?
Here are a few statistics that will put it in perspective and make you aware of what visitors to our town mean to us.
From April through July, overnight guests in our city spent an average of $388.12 a day on hotel rooms, meals, transportation, entertainment and retail sales. These figures are based on a marketing survey done by the Iowa Department of Economic Development which has now been renamed the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
The visitors included those attending graduations, conventions, tournaments and a swim meet. On the other hand, earlier in the year, some groups came and just spent the day and those statistics are figured on a $40 per day per person base. There were three such groups so far this year.
Using these figures, we show that monies spent in Clinton for all groups visiting here amounted to $1,078,778 with an economic impact rollover to our community of $6,472,668. The rollover is the impact of all of the service people, the salaries they receive and their money going back into Clinton’s economy times six.
It all goes full circle.
The Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau is completely funded by hotel/motel taxes imposed by the City of Clinton at the rate of 7 percent. The tax is paid on the gross receipts of all rooms rented including hotels, motels, inns and any place where sleeping accommodations are furnished to visiting guests. This tax is shared by the Bureau, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and Vision Iowa.
As we are all aware, we had sad news in November 2010 when the Best Western hotel sold to Ashford University and we lost hotel/motel tax on 110 rooms; but on the positive side, Ashford University graduates 1,000-plus students per year bringing many visitors to our city. We are now seeing the groundbreaking and rising of the new Hampton Inns by Hilton with 77 rooms and two meeting rooms that will accommodate 40 people each.
This hotel will be up and ready for occupancy in early spring and one event we have planned for next summer has already booked rooms in the new hotel.
So excitement is always in the air for “things to do with a river view” and when you see out-of-town guests, treat them well, give directions if needed and remember that they are keeping our economy strong.
Marsha Smith is the director of the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau.