Travel Council could see TRT funding drop sharply

Carrot at end of stick is $2.5 million ‘floor’

A proposed legislative bill to reduce the amount of transient room tax that must be spent to promote tourism in Grand and other Utah counties was met with mixed feelings Friday when the Grand County Council and Moab Area Travel Council met – but the two sides ultimately agreed to put up a united front when lawmakers address the legislation in the 2020 session, which begins Jan. 27.

Travel Council: International tourists spent more than domestic visitors

International visitors with VISA credit cards spent about $10 million in Moab in 2018. Hotel and motel occupancy rates that year averaged between 60 and 70 percent, and transient room tax collections through the end of May were down about $300,000 from the same time last year, according to the annual Moab Area Travel Council report for 2018 that Executive Director Elaine Gizler presented at Tuesday’s Grand County Council meeting.

Wells: ‘We haven’t been on the same page the whole time’

Curtis Wells said his colleagues on the Grand County Council were aware he had serious concerns regarding the removal of lodging as a permitted use from existing businesses and commercial zoning long before the issue ever went to a vote on July 16 – saying the process morphed from one that would have implemented enhanced design standards for lodging operators to an outright ban, to building any more hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, condominiums, townhomes or private campgrounds.