Hotel tax revenues are down 13 per cent in 2005 compared to the previous year the biggest drop to date in hotel tax revenues.
In dollar figures that means the Resort Municipality of Whistler received just $3 million in hotel tax in 2005 compared to $3.4 in 2004.
That highlights a worrying trend over the last five years, which has seen hotel tax revenue consistently drop from year to year since its peak at $3.9 million in 2001.
The municipality had projected hotel tax revenues to be closer to $3.6 million in the 2005 budget. But the torrential rains in January 2005 had a significant impact on the number of hotel room bookings.
The hotel tax is just one measure of the resorts economy. The RMOW gets 2 per cent in hotel tax out of the 10 per cent tax the province collects on every hotel room sold in the resort.
The RMOWs manager of fiscal planning, Lisa Landry, is projecting another drop next year.
Based on estimates from Tourism Whistler of an overall six per cent decline in room nights for 2006, combined with an average price of $175 per room (based on figures from January to November 2005), Landry said hotel tax revenues are expected to decrease again next year to $2.9 million.