Remember this? Smoky skies from wildfires dominated the weather in August (File photo)
Hotels were filling up in Vernon this past August despite all the smoke from burning wildfires filling the air.
According to City of Vernon statistics, the three percent hotel room tax brought more than $135-thousand to tourism coffers in August alone.
Tourism manager Kevin Poole says tourist numbers were flat, a happy occurrence given the air quality.
He says staff had been anticipating a significant drop in hotel stays.
“We received our August numbers just recently and we were happy because they were flat,” said Kevin Poole, the city’s tourism manager. “I think everybody would know August was a smokey skies month and we were anticipating, probably, a significant drop. That hasn’t translated yet.”
Poole says July’s numbers were flat as well which was a relief given all of the flooding experienced in the region.
And, Poole says local hotels continue to set records for room stays.
Stats show $26.5-million was spent on hotel bookings in Vernon between January to the end of August.
The city’s tourism department took in just over $738-thousand during that time from a three percent tax on those rooms.
Mayor Victor Cumming says the city has seen larger hotels being built in the last few years, especially along Anderson Way.
“We’ve seen these really large developments and they’re experiencing high occupancy rates so that’s what’s showing this growth in tourism,” says Cumming. “It’s really significant for Vernon.”