Cannon Beach’s 2014 travel and tourism broke $100,000,000

ERICK BENGEL PHOTO At this year's Chamber Awards ceremony, Patrick Nofield, center, president of Escape Lodging, accepted the award for Excellence in Leadership on behalf of the company's CEO Tom Drumheller. Left: Sheri Russell, secretary of the chamber board. Right: Becki Sperley, chief financial officer of Escape Lodging.

In calendar year 2014, the direct economic impact of travel and tourism to Cannon Beach totaled approximately $104,778,653, according to final figures recently provided by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

State survey averages calculated by Dean Runyan Associates allows chambers of commerce to break down that figure into amounts spent in different categories. In Cannon Beach, those amounts are:

• Lodging industry revenues: $40,836,675 (39 percent of all spending)

• Food and beverage revenues: $26,194,663 (25 percent of all spending)

• Retail revenues: $16,764,584 (16 percent of all spending)

• Recreation revenues: $10,477,865 (10 percent of all spending)

• Transportation revenues: $10,477,865 (10 percent of all spending)

However, the only exact figure is the one for the lodging industry, which is extrapolated from the 8 percent transient lodging taxes paid by the city’s visitors who stay in a hotel, motel or inn.

Last year, Cannon Beach’s lodging taxes totaled $3,269,094. That figure comprises the 6 percent lodging tax collected by the city, the additional 1 percent tax for the city’s Tourism and Arts Fund, and the 1 percent lodging tax that goes to the state.

The economic impact of travel and tourism is even greater when one factors in the “multiplier effect,” which considers the money that is re-spent within the community by the people employed by the local businesses raking in visitor dollars. The money is turned over and over within the local economy until it is saved or spent elsewhere.

Generally, the multiplier effect ranges from 3 to 7 times the direct economic impact, so, at minimum, Cannon Beach saw about $314,335,961 in economic impact in 2014.

Because these figures are calculated from transient lodging dollars, they only account for the visitors who stayed overnight. It doesn’t count the day-trippers. “So add a whole lot more people,” and Cannon Beach’s travel and tourism industry is a “much bigger industry than most people understand and realize,” said Courtland Carrier, executive director of the chamber.

In Seaside, the direct economic impact of travel and tourism in 2014 totaled approximately $117,395,384, according to Jon Rahl, assistant general manager of the city of Seaside’s Visitor Bureau. With the multiplier, that’s $352,186,152.

The categories break down thus:

• Lodging industry revenues: $45,784,199 (39 percent of all spending)

• Food and beverage revenues: $29,348,846 (25 percent of all spending)

• Retail revenues: $18,783,261 (16 percent of all spending)

• Recreation revenues = $11,739,538 (10 percent of all spending)

• Transportation revenues = $11,739,538 (10 percent of all spending)

How do Cannon Beach’s 2014 figures compare to those from previous years?

It’s hard to say; as far as Carrier knows, the chamber hasn’t run these numbers before. Carrier compiled a preliminary version of these percentages for the chamber’s newsletter in February.

And here’s another 2014 statistic: the Cannon Beach Visitor Center tallied about 53,766 visitors who walked in to ask for help. By comparison, an estimated 20,000 enter Seaside’s Visitor Center annually, according to Rahl.

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