Oxford tourism taxes, room occupancy up

Oxford StockBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal Oxford Bureau

OXFORD – Year-to-date hotel occupancy in Oxford stands at 62.3 percent, up from 49.3 percent in the first 11 months of 2012.

The increase represents a 27.2 percent jump in occupancy for the period, reversing a 9 percent downturn in occupancy for the 2012 calendar year compared to 2011. One factor in the change was the closing of the Downtown Inn this fall, removing more than 100 rooms from the inventory during the University of Mississippi’s football season, when hotels are at capacity for seven weekends.

In the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2012-13 (October 2012 to August 2013, the latest month for which figures are available), Oxford’s 2 percent hotel/motel tax yielded $205,885, a 5 percent increase over the same period a year before.

In FY 2012-13’s first 11 months, the 2 percent food-and-beverage tax brought in 1,909,744 – up 6 percent over the previous year’s same period.

Tourism Director Mary-Kathryn Herrington said several factors contribute to the increases.

“The university has more students, which brings more parents to town. FNC Park (sports complex) is bringing in a lot of visitors, Ole Miss’ orientation lasts nearly all of June, and local people like Chef John Currence are drawing a lot of national attention and bringing people to Oxford.”

errol.castens@journalinc.com