Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sun Valley LOT receipts decline in May

Resort says its numbers were down too

Express Staff Writer

Local-option tax receipts for the city of Sun Valley were down in May by about $10,000 compared to last year.

In its fiscal 2009 budget, the city had expected $53,544 in LOT revenue for May. Instead it received $50,306.

The decrease in LOT revenue follows a trend this year. In April, Sun Valley experienced an unexpected 7 percent increase in LOT receipts, but that was the first time since October that the receipts were higher than the previous year.

Mayor Wayne Willich said he had not seen the numbers for May, but he was not surprised.

"We knew we were going to have a slow month in May," Willich said. "I don't know how we are going to do in June."

Sun Valley imposes a 3 percent sales tax on lodging, by-the-glass liquor sales and tickets to events in the city. A 2 percent tax is imposed on most retail sales and a 1 percent tax on ski lift tickets and season passes.

Willich said a decline in LOT receipts for the city meant an overall decline in business for Sun Valley resort.

Sun Valley resort spokesman Jack Sibbach concurred.

"We were down in May, and we will be down most of the summer," Sibbach said. "It's the economy. It affects us because we are a destination resort."

While Sibbach said he did not have numbers for the company's revenue in May, he did say there were fewer room occupancies.

Sibbach said he believes that July and August will be the resort's best months for this year, but still not as high as previous years.

"We are working real hard," Sibbach said. "But there is no one answer."

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