Tourism season has begun

Kingman Tourism Week kicks off the summer tourism season and recognizes the economic impact of the tourist industry to the area.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, bed tax revenue is expected to reach $200,000, a 10 percent increase over the average of the past three years.

The 2 percent tax was collected from total room rental receipts of $10 million said city finance director Roger Swenson.

If the average room in Kingman rents for $30, the $10 million would rent 900 rooms each night of the year.

Visitors to Arizona spend an average $93 per person per day according to 1998 figures from the Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center at Northern Arizona University.

Business travelers spend $144 per day.

Using the lower figure of $93, and the daily occupancy of 900 rooms with two people per room, tourists spend about $167,000 each day in Kingman.

Kingman tourism director Debbi Smith said the Powerhouse Visitor Center had 100,000 people stop for information during the past year, even with a decline in tour bus stops in Kingman.

Smith is marketing Kingman to bus companies and RV Caravan Clubs as an overnight or several night stop to tour the surrounding area.

Monthly mailers have been developed and are being sent monthly she said.

Foreign visitors are a major part of the market for Kingman and Mohave County with tour companies bringing groups from Europe and Japan through the area to visit the Grand Canyon and Route 66.

NAU counts 2.54 million foreign visitors a year to Arizona compared to 27 million domestic visitors.

Mexico sends half the foreign visitors to the state.

Kingman tourism benefits from location near the Grand Canyon National Park and the Lake Mead Recreation Area.

In 1998, the latest figures available, 4.5 million people visited the Grand Canyon.

It is the most visited park in the state.

The Lake Mead area drew nearly 10 million visitors.

Kingman is located in the tourist area called "Arizona's West Coast" along with other counties along the Colorado River.

The city is a crossroads for travel to and from Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead and the Colorado River and Boulder Dam.

Automobiles are the primary mode of transportation of tourists in the region fitting with the good highway system and the motel/hotel business in Kingman.

Smith said her visitor center staff tell visitors that Kingman is a good place to stay and make day visits to surrounding attractions.

The mayor said the Powerhouse Visitor Center is the key to the improvement of the tourism economy in Kingman.

Increased marketing of Historic Route 66 with better signing and landscaping on Andy Devine Avenue and the building of the Route 66 Museum at the Power house is part of the future growth he said.