Bend tourism fuels room tax growth

wo kayakers enjoy paddling on the Deschutes River near Dillon Falls.

The price of a hotel room in Bend surged last month to record levels, helping the city make up for an occupancy rate that was slightly below pre-pandemic levels.

The average price for a hotel room in Bend was $202.86 per night in July, according to data compiled by Visit Bend, the city’s tourism arm. That rate is well above the $135.97 average price in July 2020 and the $172.30 average price in July 2019.

The average price of a room in August was slightly lower than July but still a respectable $190.20. The previous August high occurred in 2017 when the average price reached $175.86. That was the month of the solar eclipse that drew thousands of visitors to Central Oregon.

The lodging demand in July was almost equal to the demand in pre-pandemic July 2019. This year the demand (number of rooms sold in a month) was 87,599. During the same month in 2019, it was 87,413.

In August the lodging demand was down compared to July at 79,964. It was also down compared to August of 2019, which had lodging demand of 81,689.

Kevney Dugan, chief executive of Visit Bend, said the slowdown toward the end of August could be attributed to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Oregon and across the country.

As for the higher prices per room, Dugan said that’s good for Bend. Visitors who spend more are helping businesses deal with increased labor costs and helping the city’s general fund, he said.

“People are clearly willing to pay more to come to Bend right now,” said Dugan. “There are not necessarily more people coming based on the data, but they are paying more so businesses are staying fairly healthy and the city’s transient room tax collections are strong compared to the budget.”

Sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter

Reporter: 541-617-7818,

mkohn@bendbulletin.com

(3) comments

berryfarm541

It is speculated that many hotels have increased rates so that the homeless can't use them to live in

Gary Mendoza

Bend hotels charge premium rates because Bend’s a desirable place to visit. As they do, they bring crowds, trash and traffic—making Bend a less desirable place to live. When is the City Council going to make a sincere effort to reign this nonsense in?

Smedley Doright

My favorite thing about this is that the TOT goes right to visit bend for their marketing to increase visitors to Bend!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.