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Poconos shoulder warm winter, looks toward record year

An unseasonably warm winter and cold spring shouldn’t stop the Poconos from logging a record number of visitors and tourism spending.

The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau delivered its annual report at a luncheon recently, sharing data that showed that in 2014, the most recent data available, 25.6 million visitors spent $3 billion in the four counties served by the bureau: Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne. The data are provided by Longwoods International for even-numbered years.

That marks a record and sets the table for another high point year, said Carl Wilgus, executive director of the bureau.

The largest portion of that $3 billion of spending goes toward lodging, a slice of the pie likely to increase. The last fiscal year of the bureau — July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 — saw the opening of four new properties, Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Water Park, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, the Hampton Inn and Suites, and the Fairfield Inn and Suites, a net increase of approximately 1,100 rooms.

The boost in room demand and capacity led to a direct increase in visitors bureau revenue, the primary source of which is a hotel room tax, which rose 38 percent to $7.2 million. The bureau’s total revenue for the 2016 fiscal year was $9.1 million.

Full article here.