2016 was a record year for tourism in the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County, Maryland with a 3.6% increase in county accommodations sales, a 7% increase in heads on beds, a 2.3% increase in sales tax collections and a 23% increase in visitors to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s website, visitdeepcreek.com. The Chamber attributes much of the increase to the Chamber’s aggressive marketing plan with concentrated efforts and new ad strategies.
According to the Maryland Office of Tourism, Garrett County’s increases have even outpaced Maryland’s tourism growth. For the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016), Maryland grew tourism sales tax revenues 4.6%, while Garrett County grew tourism sales tax revenues 7.2% during the same time period. Maryland grew lodging sales tax code collections 5.8% while Garrett County grew lodging sales tax collections 9.5%.
Garrett County experienced similar increases in fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). Maryland grew tourism sales tax revenues 6.4% in fiscal year 2016, while Garrett County grew tourism sales tax revenues 7.0% during the same time period. Maryland grew lodging sales tax code collections 6.3% in FY16 while Garrett County grew lodging sales tax collections 9%.
“Tourism is an economic engine for Garrett County and we are pleased to see that this engine continues to churn out additional revenues and business for our community,” said Nicole Christian, president & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber, as the Destination Marketing Organization for the County, is pleased to see that our strategies are proving effective and that our efforts are yielding strong results for our community.”
The western-most county in Maryland, Garrett County is home to Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort, the state’s only ski resort, and Adventure Sports Center International, one of only two recirculating whitewater courses in the western hemisphere. Garrett County is less than a three-hour drive from the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, two hours from Pittsburgh, PA, Winchester, VA and Hagerstown, MD and a 45-minute drive from Morgantown, WV and Cumberland, MD.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization and Heritage Area Management entity for the County.
For more information about the Deep Creek Lake area, Garrett County and the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, log onto visitdeepcreek.com or call 888.387.5237.