Crash of hotel occupancy rate and bed tax collections documented

During red tide crisis in September, Sarasota County hotel rooms were only 39.9% full

Sarasota County now has numbers showing just how terrible the red tide toll has been.

• Hotel occupancy in September plummeted to 39.9 percent, the lowest since reliable records began to be collected in 2005. That figure was 61.9 percent last September, that was unusually high because hotels filled up after Hurricane Irma and because of the World Rowing Championships.

• Tourist development tax collections, the best available measure of the local industry’s health, hit a four-year low in September.

• Collections of the tourist development tax, a levy on short-term rentals also known as the bed tax, in August dropped to the lowest they’ve been for that month since 2013.