|By Douglas Hanks, The Miami
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 07, 2012--The vacation may be winding down for Miami-Dade's hotel rebound.
Collections of hotel taxes leveled off in December, ending a streak of double-digit gains seen throughout most of 2011. Growth dropped from an average of 28 percent in the fall to just 1.6 percent in December. That still brought in a record $7.3 million for the month.
The slowdown could just be a blip, since oddities of the calendar can skew monthly collection reports. But the end to strong growth was bound to arrive soon as a hotel market battered by the 2008 financial crisis moves from recovery mode into more stable growth.
Hotel taxes dropped 21 percent at their trough in the spring of 2009, leaving plenty of room to grow quickly as travelers started spending again and corporations resumed their South Florida conferences.
With travel spending stabilized, it's going to be harder to record the kind of impressive gains seen with hotel taxes in the rebuilding years of 2010 and 2011.
December 2011 remains the best December on record for Miami-Dade hotel taxes, so the slowdown probably won't cause too many worries for an industry that has been key to Miami-Dade's hiring rebound.
In Broward, the rebound continued at full-speed in December. Hotel-tax collections increased 16 percent to $3.7 million, also a record for that month.
(c)2012 The Miami Herald
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