Beach reports tourism records

When Meyer Real Estate opens its Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offices this morning, the firm will check in more vacationers arriving for the holiday weekend than it has on any other day this summer, said Sarah Kuzma, a company spokeswoman.

In July, traditionally the local tourism trade’s most lucrative month, Orange Beach collected more sales and lodgings taxes than it has in any month in the city’s 25-year history. The $1.4 million in lodgings tax collected was a 5.2 percent increase over July 2008 and the $1.01 million in sales tax taken in was up 13.5 percent from last July, the Convention and Visitors Bureau reported Thursday.

Also in July, the 14,317 condo units from Perdido Key to Fort Morgan reported an occupancy rate of 79.5 percent, a 3.2 percent increase over the same month last year and the highest rate since at least 2004, Convention and Visitors Bureau statistics show. That, Malone said, is “staggering” considering there are 713 new condo units that weren’t on the market last July.

Beach reports tourism records