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FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2007
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Decatur-Morgan bureau says March busy month for hotels

Soccer tournaments helped boost Decatur's hotel figures to one of their best months in years.

The Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the city collected $90,681 in lodging taxes in March, a 60 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

The bureau gets 75 percent of that money for operating expenses. Lodging taxes for the year are at $399,740, which is 14.7 percent higher than this same time last year.

The busier March also generated a near record amount on the $1.50-per-night room occupancy tax. It generated $39,106 that month, a 38.1 percent increase compared to the previous year. Since the collection began in September 2001, only October of last year was higher.

The bureau said March's two soccer tournaments as well as strong corporate travelers, namely workers helping restart a reactor at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, helped push the city's hotel occupancy rate to 60 percent that month. It's the second highest rate since tracking began in 2001. Only October's 70 percent rate was higher.

- Paul Huggins

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