Lodging firms owe lots of money | ParkRecord.com

Lodging firms owe lots of money

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Two embattled lodging firms in the Park City area owe Summit County nearly $500,000 in unpaid hotel tax.

The Utah State Tax Commission collects Transient Room Tax to help boost tourism in Summit County. The three-percent tax is charged on lodging stays that are 30 days or less.

Premier Resorts of Utah and David Holland Resort Lodging haven’t paid almost $500,000 in TRT the companies owe for last winter, Park City Chamber/Bureau Executive Director Bill Malone said.

"It’s impacting budgeting," Malone said.

As Summit County’s partner in tourism promotion, the Chamber/Bureau receives about 90 percent of the TRT.

"Our relationship with the county is an integral part of our operations as it relates to Transient Room Tax," Malone told members of the Summit County Council Wednesday.

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Lodging in Park City saw a 16-percent decrease in overnight visitation last winter, he said, adding that skier days at three area resorts dropped about 12 percent.

Overall revenue from Transient Room Tax decreased about 30 percent in the first quarter of 2009, Malone explained.

Meanwhile, with Premier Resorts of Utah in bankruptcy, Malone said he isn’t sure if the company will pay the taxes that are due.

"I thought with payroll taxes and sales tax, there were some real teeth in those provisions," Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said.

Liens could be placed on the property of those who refuse to pay room taxes.

"We may see that money at some point," Malone said.

Transient Room Tax was not paid by Premier Resorts in January and February, Malone said.

Declining revenue has forced the Chamber/Bureau to pare its budget from $5.2 million to about $3.9 million for fiscal year 2010, which begins in July.

"There is not a single area of our budget that we’re not looking at," Malone said. "We need to generate revenue back into the county."

The economic downturn has reduced the number of companies booking meetings and conventions in Park City.