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Innkeepers revenue continues to climb

Harrison County’s Innkeepers Tax collection for 2013 was the highest total since 2007, Jeremy Yackle, the county’s Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, reported Thursday at the tourism commission’s regular meeting.
The tax income totaled $316,408.83, up from $299,889.19 in 2012. The all-time high was $442,798.25 in 2004.
Hotels, inns and lodges in the county pay innkeepers’ taxes, which is a tax on the rental of rooms and accommodations within the county, on a monthly basis.
‘Things are trending up there,’ Yackle said.
Tourism commission president Michael Wiseman said the numbers so far this year, for January and February, are ahead of last year’s.
In January 2014 $24,439.50 was collected, an increase of nearly $2,000 from a year ago; and February 2014 saw a collection of $26,160.94 (last year’s total was $21,517.20).
Yackle also reported a strong cash balance in the credit card account of more than $10,000, which is mainly fueled by Hayswood Theatre ticket sales.
‘Hayswood has had a couple pretty good (selling) shows,’ he said.
The CVB is gearing up for tourism week, scheduled for May 3 through 11. The business after-hours event will be Thursday, May 8, at Indiana Caverns, located southwest of Corydon.
Other upcoming events include the Indian Creek Antique Show at the Harrison County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 26, and the Run for the Wall riders, who will arrive in Corydon on Tuesday, May 20, and stay overnight before continuing on to Washington, D.C.
A couple of programs mentioned in the staff reports portion of the meeting included a school teacher voucher for area attractions so they can visit and see if it would be a good destination for a school field trip, and fourth-grade presentations in the county teaching the importance of tourism.
Yackle said more locally-driven events for the 2016 bicentennial will be released in the coming months.