The economic downturn forced some changes. Many inns added modern amenities and gave up demanding three-night minimum stays.
Room tax is up
Room-tax figures support a big boost in the accommodations industry. City Manager Bruce MacLeod said that through September the tax revenue was up more than 9 percent9.5, to almost $700,000, compared with 2011.
A local hotelier, Curtis Bashaw, a partner with Cape Resorts Group, was recently quoted as saying that 2012 was his best year ever. He was booking rooms back to 2008 levels.
one surprise since the recession was an increase in visitors at nontraditional vacation times, such as spring break and Easter. Visitors would go to Cape May instead of to Florida or on a ski trip. The bad economy actually helped resorts that are within a tank of gas of New York, Philadelphia and the Baltimore-Washington area.
Early summer slump
Weather-sensitive businesses were down early in the summer because of excessive heat and rain, but they made up for it with strong business through Columbus Day weekend.
Real estate was down 30 percent after the recession of 2008, and it’s up 7 percent this year. It will take two or three more years to get back to what it was
Heat and rain were blamed for a slight decline in beach-tag sales. They were down $1,000 through Labor Day. Mayor Ed Mahaney said room taxes, revenue from parking meters and increased water use show more people visited the city. Fewer went to the beach, but Mahaney said a $1,000 drop in a $2 million beach-tag operation was not a major concern.
Merchants at the Washington Street Mall reported an increase in people through Columbus Day weekend.
Restaurants are also reporting more diners.
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