Post-Bassmaster tax revenue results mixed - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Post-Bassmaster tax revenue results mixed

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The tournament was expected to generate $20-million in revenue on its own. The tournament was expected to generate $20-million in revenue on its own.
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GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Sales tax revenues to the City of Guntersville were flat for the month of February, a month when many were expecting higher figures with the Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament.

Despite the news, city leaders said they are pleased with the numbers in certain areas.

In terms of total sales in Guntersville for February, the city collected just over $20-million in revenue, compared with $19.8-million from the same period the year before. That is a 1.7% increase over 2013.

In food and lodging, the results look more promising. Revenue from food sales accounted for $2.36-million of the overall figure, a 7.3% increase over the same time last year. Lodging accounted for just over $556,000, a 26.3% increase over February 2013.

This year's Bassmaster Classic brought thousands to Marshall County to witness portions of the event. The event alone was expected to generate $20-million in revenue. Some downtown merchants felt the tournament failed to prove fruitful, financially.

However, the numbers show hotels and restaurants in the area did benefit. While the numbers were just above last year's overall, city leaders point to Mother Nature's wrath in the shortest month of the year.

"Lots of things were closed. Schools were closed a week down here, so lots of businesses were closed; lots of large chains were closed for days. We felt for being flat, that was fairly good considering the weather days that we had," said Mayor Leigh Dollar.

The mayor feels the overall numbers would have been much higher if the city had not been snowed in for several days.

Despite the seemingly low numbers, the results of that revenue - along with the national TV coverage the city got - are already becoming apparent around town. City officials said you can go to many of the boat docks and find numerous vehicles from many states.

"They call and they want to come check it out," said Dollar. "The chamber and the CVB are getting very similar calls, so I feel like we've got a huge residual. I don't think it's about the weekend by itself. I think it's about long-term effects. I think we're seeing some real positive things from it."

City officials said they are already looking forward to what the March numbers bring. They will be out in early May.

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