The arrival of Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor in December is projected to boost the Charlotte County’s Tourist Development Tax revenue by $1 million, Commissioner Chris Constance said during a Jan. 9 meeting.
“I think that within a year’s time if Sunseeker does what [it’s projected] to do, we’re probably still going to be about a million dollars more plus, to the bottom line,” Constance said.
Constance reviewed the county’s visitors and convention bureau report and said tourism revenues have “peaked.”
Tourism Development Tax, or TDT, revenues were down about 17% in October and down about 10% in November, he said. However, he said TDT receipts are still at a “very high level and even if we see some recessionary effects,” the situation will improve in the coming year due to Sunseeker’s presence.
The TDT tax is a 5% charge on the revenue collected on the rental of living quarters or accommodations rented for a period of six months or less.
Constance noted that the county brought in $6 million in 2020-21, almost $8 million in 2021-22, but TDT revenue fell to $7.5 million in 2022-23 due to the loss of rentals and the Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel, 300 Retta Esplanade, in the downtown area of the city after Hurricane Ian and later flooding to the adjoining restaurant from Hurricane Idalia.
He said the buildings housing the hotel and former Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill, which has been closed since Hurricane Idalia, are expected to be demolished in the next few months.
Condos, houses and bed and breakfasts also suffered damages, reducing the number of rentals available after the hurricane.
But as Sunseeker Resort begins to fill rooms and convention space, TDT revenues will no doubt rise, he said. The resort has some 785 rooms and suites.
“As revenues start to come in on that property, I think [TDT receipts are] going to balance out,” he said.