The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on journey and tourism is obtaining a important adverse effect on Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s transit occupancy tax (hotel tax) collections this year.

Officials told the Conference Services Authority Friday collections in Cincinnati for the second quarter ended up $422,000, which was a 50% reduction when compared to the second quarter 2019. For Hamilton County, the selection was $750,000, or a 72% drop from past calendar year.

Leaders are hoping for an raise in the latest quarter. They explained that’s needed in order to make confident you will find ample funds to make a credit card debt service payment in December on the bonds issued quite a few yrs in the past to increase and renovate the Duke Energy Convention Center.

The CFA is also checking out refinancing or restructuring some of the conference center personal debt. It would carry some payment reduction for the up coming several years, but it would also prolong the debt and increase the price of the borrowing.

In the meantime, the decreased lodge tax revenues is forcing Sharonville to delay a prepared enlargement at the Sharonville Convention Heart.

Mayor Kevin Hardman reported officials will be checking travel and hope to transfer ahead with the task in about a 12 months.

“Throughout that time, we will evaluate the situation of lodging tax receipts and convention middle demand from customers,” Hardman reported an e-mail to WVXU. “We are optimistic that we will have a much better take care of of the forecast for these receipts by the third quarter of 2021 to resume funding and development of the enlargement.”

The strategy calls for doubling exhibition place from 20,000-square toes to 40,000-square ft. It would also include a ticket workplace, supplemental restrooms and additional storage room. 

The aim is to bring in conventions and activities that are far too small for the Duke Centre, but as well significant for the present-day space in Sharonville.

The minimized hotel taxes are not impacting a venture to demolish the former Millennium Lodge in Downtown Cincinnati.

The Port is handling that project, and President and CEO Laura Brunner signed contracts for the demolish do the job Friday.

That work will probably start out in the up coming two months and acquire about a calendar year to comprehensive. 

Ideas are nevertheless remaining formulated on how the former lodge will be demolished, but Brunner stated a partial implosion is continue to a probability.

The Port issued just about $53 million in bonds to purchase the former Millennium Resort and pay out for demolition bills. 

The CFA agreed in January, before the pandemic, to use residual money from the county’s transit occupancy tax revenues as the resource to again-up individuals bonds.

County Administrator Jeff Aluotto stated there is a residual stability in that fund, and even with lessen tax collections, the county must be in a position to satisfy people obligations and still have a reserve balance if the travel and tourism business rebounds in the following two to three several years.

The previous Millennium web page could be applied for a new standalone resort, increasing the Duke Centre, or a blend of middle expansion and a new resort. The measurement for a new hotel ranges from 600 to 1,000 rooms.