CASPER — Sales and use tax collections for Wyoming’s hospitality and leisure sectors experienced significant growth this summer compared to last year, state reports show.
The state pulled in $3.2 million more in collections in June, and $5 million more in July, according to fact sheets published by the Economic Analysis Division. Both amount to about an 85% increase from last year.
August’s tax income also blew past 2020 numbers, growing by $5.4 million for an increase of 66.1%.
Notably, this amount also cleared August 2019’s total by about 26%.
The hospitality and leisure sector includes everything from food and drink services to entertainment, lodging and tourism, all of which were hit especially hard from last year’s COVID-related shutdowns.
Yellowstone National Park, for example, closed for roughly two months last year.
That the industry has bounced back from 2020’s lows is not surprising — but a nationwide case of cabin fever could be driving up the swell, too. Wyoming has enjoyed an influx of tourists this year, particularly in the northwest region of the state.
“There’s a lot of pent up demand from Americans spending the last year at home,” Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, told the Star-Tribune in July.