Following a statewide trend, tourism-related spending and tourism-related earnings in Montrose County were up by millions coming out of the pandemic, even topping pre-pandemic numbers, according to a study paid for by the state’s tourism office.
Travel spending in Montrose County was up 20.9%, from $190.9 million in 2021 to $230.8 million in 2022, according to the newest report from Dean Runyan Associates. And spending was up 35.7% compared to 2019, right before the pandemic, when the figure was $170.1 million.
Earnings similarly grew. Travel-related earnings in Montrose County were at a record $58 million in 2022, growing by 8.7% compared to $53.3 million in 2021. Earnings were up 55.3% compared to 2019, when they were at $37.3 million. Included in those earnings are CARES Act funds that may have been granted to businesses.
Travel-related jobs also grew significantly from 2019 to 2022. There were 1,350 such jobs in 2022, compared to 1,310 in 2021 and 1,230 in 2019.
Travel spending was also up in other nearby counties. Gunnåçison County saw travel spending increase to $345.1 in 2022 from $327.3 million in 2021 and $256.6 million in 2019.
Delta County saw travel spending increase to $65.3 million in 2022, from $59.6 million in 2021 and $55.3 million in 2019. Mesa County saw travel spending increase to $434 million in 2022, up from $379.4 million in 2021 and $396.2 million in 2019.
San Miguel saw travel spending increase to $433.4 million from $387.1 million in 2021 and $292.6 million from 2019.
In total, there were 14,900 jobs gained across the state and an 18.2% growth in travel earnings. There was a 25.2% increase in travel spending statewide, from 22.1 billion in 2021 to 27.7 billion in 2022 and a 20.9% increase in tax revenue from 1.4 billion in 2021 to 1.7 billion in 2022.
Overnight trips, including business trips, to Colorado were still not up to where they were in 2019, according to another report, from Longwoods International. In 2022, 38.4 million traveled to Colorado for overnight trips, up from 36.3 million in 2021. But a record 39 million visited in 2019.
Only looking at leisure trips to Colorado, 35.5 million visited in 2022, compared to 34.5 million in 2021 and 35.2 million in 2019.
Justin Tubbs is the Montrose Business Times editor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 970-765-0915 or mobile at 254-246-2260.