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Mammothâ€™s merchants, hoteliers and restaurateurs may have varying opinions on the success of their summers, but the town government is calling Summer 2010 a winner.
Judging by the latest Transient Occupancy Tax figures, July 2010 was the biggest July in town history, according to Brad Koehn, the townâ€™s finance director.
â€śItâ€™s the best July weâ€™ve ever had in terms of TOT collections, and this only reflects the monthly remittances,â€ť he said. â€śThere are other condo owners who remit quarterly, so this will continue to grow.â€ť
Based on past summers, Mammoth budgeted $632,419 in revenues for the month. What actually happened was that the town collected $794,148 â€“ a difference of $161,729 to the good.
August remittances had not been received yet, Koehn said, but he said heâ€™s got enough in hand to say August will be as big, or bigger, than July.
Why the bump? Koehn said he has a number of theories based on more aggressive marketing, and psychological factors.
â€śWeâ€™re still just a tankful of gas away from L.A.,â€ť he said, â€śand our experience is that when things are bad or uncertain, people come here to visit.
â€śPeople donâ€™t like it when I say it, but when bad things happen, thatâ€™s good for Mammoth.â€ś
How this translates into town business is up for discussion, always. But itâ€™s worth noting some of the trends.
For example, Tony Colosardo of Footloose Sports said business was good in spite of a short summer, and he said though bike sales were down, his rental business was robust.
He theorized that his customers were cautious, but they still came to Mammoth. The TOT numbers proved it.