West Point, Starkville tourism numbers grow

DTL Staff
Staff Writer

Tourism continues to be big business in West Point and Starkville. And it’s growing, at least based on the communities’ tourism tax revenues.

West Point’s 2 percent tax on food and beverage sales at restaurants and bars reached $56,503 this month. The numbers reflect taxes collected on October sales.

The total was 23.47 percent ahead of the same month last year.

The increase reflects a combination of more restaurants and increased traffic.

For the five months since July, the revenues are up almost 16 percent over the same period the previous year.

West Point split its tourism tax revenues. Half fund parks and recreation programs related to the Jesse Harmon Sportsplex on North Eshman Avenue. The other half funds the Growth Alliance.

Starkville collected $186,280 in revenues this month from its 2 percent food and beverage tax. That was up 7.97 percent from the same month last year.

The city’s 2 percent hotel-motel tax was down slightly from $28,922 to $27,037. Some of that fluctuation reflects attendance at Mississippi State University football games, the time of the games and whether they are televised, and other events ion campus.

Starkville’s revenues are split among five different groups: the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Starkville Parks and Recreation Department, Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, the city of Starkville and Mississippi State University's Student Government Association. Since July, the restaurant tax revenues are up 12.2 percent to $922,304 while the hotel tax numbers are down 6.59 percent to $115,511.