The City of Port Wentworth, in conjunction with the Port Wentworth Chamber of Commerce, recently announced that it has again exceeded its hotel/motel tax-collection goal for the fiscal year.
For FY 2019, collections totaled $899,459.99, which is $49,457 over the figure of $850,000 that the city budgeted for the year.
The Port Wentworth Chamber of Commerce, which is partially funded by one-third of the 6 percent lodging tax, was happy with the news, given its increased efforts and ongoing commitment to ramp up economic development and tourism. The chamber uses those funds on promoting tourism, conventions and trade shows, marketing, branding, public relations, advertising, sponsoring special events and providing assistance to other Port Wentworth organizations and businesses for purposes of promoting the city.
With this mission in mind, the chamber has worked diligently to attract new businesses to the area through a variety of methods, one of which is the recently formed economic development committee. Led by chamber board member Vicki Waters, this committee will focus on encouraging retail business investment, increasing the commercial tax base, identifying changing economic trends, and developing recommendations to maximize interest in the community and attract potential new businesses.
This initiative and the chamber’s existing efforts are already making an impact. Currently, the city is preparing to welcome several new businesses, including retailers, restaurants and shopping plazas. In addition, Ideal Hospitality is opening a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites (the older Holiday Inn Express will become a Wingate by Windham) and another hotel, that has not yet been named. The grand opening for the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites, located at 79 Coldbrook Station Circle in Port Wentworth, is Nov. 19 from 5-7 p.m.
These new lodging options, as well as the area’s existing hotels, are making Port Wentworth an attractive overnight destination for visitors planning a vacation to the Coastal Empire. Port Wentworth, located only 11 miles from downtown Savannah, offers tourists an affordable alternative to paying top dollar for lodging in the historic district. With plenty of modern, newly built hotels conveniently located nearby, visitors have an array of choices to keep their families comfortable. Plus, the city offers many of its own sites and attractions, such as the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, the Mulberry Grove Plantation, African-American Praise Houses, the Houlihan boat landing, offering public access to the Savannah River.
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Trisha Growe sees the surpassing of the tax-collection goal as a win for all involved.
“Tourism is on the rise and money is being made for the city of Port Wentworth so they don’t have to raise taxes on residents or business owners,” Growe said. “I am excited that we were able to increase collections this year with all of the challenges we faced. We’re grateful for the city’s support and eager to continue working with them to propel this upward trajectory.”
For more information about the Port Wentworth Chamber of Commerce, visit www.visitportwentworth.com or call 912-965-1999.