If it seems like the valley has been filled with more tourists than usual this summer, it’s no illusion.
According to Kristen Smith, marketing director of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, the town’s tally of hotel/motel occupancy taxes keeps setting new records.
Tax receipts in June were up 7.8 percent year-to-date compared to 2015, Smith said. Receipts were up 15 percent in June compared to June of 2015.
“We’ve never had a June that big,” Smith said at last week’s Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Year-to-date, receipts in the Methow Valley are up 15 percent, while taxes collected for all of Okanogan County are up 7 percent over last year, Smith said.
The state’s report on hotel/motels taxes typically lags by about two months, Smith said. But every indication is that July and August will also be record-breaking months, she said.
Smith said the absence of wildlands and forest fires this summer in or near the Methow Valley has contributed to the influx of visitors.