Perry hotel owners to drop room rates this summer
Danny Patel is all about serving his patrons.
“When guests come here to Perry, they get shocked,” Patel said.
He’s the general manager and part owner of the Travelodge. He says business is good most days, but he thinks it can be better.
“Lower taxes will benefit long-term tourism in the city of Perry,” Patel said.
Perry city council members agreed to lower the hotel/motel tax Monday by 1% — a promise leaders made to hotel owners.
“Council felt they had a moral obligation and is proceeding with lowering that tax,” city manager Lee Gilmour said.
Council is looking to drop the tax from 8% to 7% by July 1st. Lower taxes mean lower government funding, specifically with the city’s tourism dollars.
“If the taxes decrease to 7%, these budgets will also have to decrease,” Sandi Smeltzer, the executive director for Perry’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.
Staff at the convention and visitors bureau say they’ll have to cut back on networking and advertising opportunities.
“Attending trade shows to promote Perry, billboards along the interstate are just some things we’d have to cut back on,” Smeltzer said.
But they’re team players.
“Of course we don’t want a decrease in our budget. We would like it to stay at 8%. However, we support the hotels, we’re a resource for them and if they like that 1% is going to really affect their business, then we support that,” Smeltzer said.
Patel says every little bit in savings helps.
“When you go to fill up at a gas station — you’ll see $2.99 versus $3. It changes your perception. I think down the road, lowering the tax will help,” Patel said.
A draw for guests and a win for the city.
A portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax funds several attractions including the Perry Arts Center and Go Fish Center. Gilmour says once the two are paid off, the city will look at dropping the rate again.