CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hotel rooms have been largely empty in and around Cleveland and all of Cuyahoga County during the pandemic, and that means far less bed tax revenue is being collected.
According to STR, which keeps track of occupancy rates, Cuyahoga County had its lowest occupancy rate this year in April at 18%.
That’s down 70% from the same month last year.
The highest the occupancy rate in hotels during COVID was 41% in July, which was down 41% from last summer.
In Cuyahoga County, bed tax is collected for every night in a hotel room or short-term stay.
They collect 6.5% tax for every hotel room booked in the county. That’s a whole percentage higher than last year when the tax generated about $26 million.
So far, only $10 million has been collected in 2020.
That money goes to fund places like the Medical Mart, which has received $3 million less this year compared to 2019.
Destination Cleveland is also hurt by these extremely low numbers.
They get 40% of the total bed tax collected by Cuyahoga County, and they’re averaging only about 40% of what they budgeted.
They hit bottom in April of 2020 at the height of the shutdown, taking in only 18%.
The good news is, things are improving. They are seeing a 4 to 7% increase in the occupancy rate in the county each month.