Visitors Keep Discovering Prescott

Seeing several out-of-state license tags is routine when you search for a parking place in downtown Prescott.

The same is true with finding seats at restaurants or vacant rooms at hotels and motels. Such places are filling up.

That’s not surprising, considering that hotel occupancy numbers are higher by more than 5.8 percent over the same time last year. Likewise, daily revenue for hotels is up by almost the same.

The City of Prescott, in a recent news release, indicated fiscal year bed tax revenues, created by taxes on hotel rooms, increased substantially.

In fact, a study recently completed revealed that about 45 percent of the city’s consumer credit card expenditures occur when visitors spend more than one day in Prescott. Another 16 percent comes from day-visitors, and 39 percent from local residents, the study indicated.

Margo Christensen, a founding member of the City of Prescott Tourism Advisory Committee and an executive board member for the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, said, “As a tourism industry stakeholder, I am pleased to see the city’s steady and consistent improvement in travel and tourism numbers and bed tax collections. The recent study commission by the City of Prescott Office of Tourism from the Buxton Company in Dallas shows the majority of consumer spending comes from outside visitors. Without visitors, our local economy and quality of life would diminish significantly.”

Christensen, vice president for marketing and management, Ponderosa Hotel Management Services, also noted the Prescott consistently is a leader in Arizona in being cited as a dynamic tourism community.

Just recently, the national newspaper, USA Today, indicated Prescott had been nominated as one of the “Best Arizona Attractions.”

Yet another recent poll, Expedia Viewfinder, cited Prescott as one of the “…coolest downtowns in North America.” Among criteria used: ”…one of a kind dining options, local arts and crafts venues, unique shopping experiences, fascinating historical sites and access to green urban space.”

Recently, the City of Prescott Tourism Office was reorganized, said City Manager Michael Lamar. It will be managed by John Heiney, community outreach manager, and Wendy Bridges, who has 10 years of experience in tourism and economic development coordination. Other personnel may be added later.

A city news release said the new configuration of the Tourism Office will leverage the skills of current staff members.

Lamar said, “It’s clear that Prescott has a vibrant tourism-based economy. All the indicators show a strong tourism industry that makes up a healthy portion of the City’s general fund revenues.”