Challenge Alert

Lock in $15,000 with your donation by 6:30 p.m.

Donate now

‘Mind-boggling’ summer revenue in Cape May County, officials say

Victorian houses along the beach in Cape May. (Public domain image)

Victorian houses along the beach in Cape May. (Public domain image)

Cape May County officials are crediting favorable summer weather for a likely record-breaking revenue season.

In a news release, Cape May County Tourism Director Diane Wieland points to occupancy tax collection revenue up 8.4 percent from 2018 through July, totaling more than $7 million.

The spike in occupancy tax collection indicates a minimal increase in room rates and a “substantial uptick” in overnight guests, according to county officials.

“The numbers are compelling and point to what I have witnessed in my travels around the county. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off of the summer season and broke records for most businesses. This pattern was followed by a strong July 4 weekend with some resorts reporting 100% occupancy,” Freeholder E. Marie Hayes said.

County officials say numbers are up across all tourism sectors. They’re awaiting data from the remainder of the season to measure just how much.

“An increase of more than 8% in occupancy tax, without the August data included, is very encouraging,” Hayes added. “I strongly believe we are looking at another big year for tourism in Cape May County.”

Cape May County leads the state in food and beverage, recreation, retail, and rental income tourism sectors, according to officials.

“The numbers are mind-boggling and just continue to grow year after year,” Hayes said. “A county with a population of less than 95,000 people hosts nearly 10 million visitors each year.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.