The three townships of Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach – contributed $717,057 in resort taxes (5% on lodging revenues) during the month of July according to the office of Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr. That figure is an increase of nearly $100,000 from the July 2011 report, and indicates that more than $14.3 million was spent on AMI accommodations during that month alone.
The July figures continue what has already been an outstanding year for all of Manatee County tourism, which includes part of Longboat Key, Bradenton and the surrounding boroughs. During the first half of 2012 (Jan. – June), the Manatee County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the region attracted 303,100 travelers for a total 112,600 room nights (one room night equals single night rental of a hotel room, or rental home). During the same period in 2012, the CVB estimates Manatee County had 275,500 visitors who purchased 104,500 room nights.
The increase in visitors creates added competition among rental owners, and a greater reward to those who can offer the best product, according to Island Real Estate’s New Owners Coordinator John Lefner.
“The thing I share with new owners is the need to keep (their) properties at the minimum standards and above,” Lefner said. “We work hard with owners to guide them with decorating and maintenance of their rental. A house that was doing well 10 years ago may not be at that point anymore because there are so many options (for vacationers).”
It’s difficult for Island Real Estate to quantify precise occupancy changes from year to year, because of the additions and subtractions to property listings. However, early reports indicate that IRE vacation rentals accounted for more than 4,300 room nights in July 2012 after accounting for just over 3,500 July of the previous year.