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2022 lodging tax takes in record totals

Construction projects spurred need for worker housing, lodging
Lori Sorenson

Luverne’s Convention and Visitors Bureau collected a record amount of lodging taxes in 2022, spurred by several major construction projects and the need for workers’ housing.
The CVB brought in $72,377 last year from Luverne hotels and motels, which are required by state law to collect the tax in order to support community promotion.
“Lodging tax (“heads in beds tax”) provides funds to advertise and promote the community to visitors and build the community as a travel destination,” said Luverne Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere.
She said funds were used to pay for several new local promotions to attract visitors to Luverne.
Digital billboard, bloggers and videos
For example, in 2022 the CVB and Chamber partnered with the city to purchase a new $7,500 digital billboard for Highway 75. It will be installed and operational this year.
The CVB also paid three bloggers last summer to create a series of Luverne adventures for families, couples and the outdoors. The blogs, which cost CVB $5,000, are available on the Chamber website,, and on
In September 2022, the CVB Board spent$3,000 to produce 30-second and 60-second Luverne LOOP video ads in partnership with John Barnes of UDO Velvet Productions. They’ll be released this spring at the start of biking season.
These expenses are in addition to ongoing expenses associated with promoting the Luverne community.
These include hosting events such as the February Fishing Derby (which is canceled this year due to unsafe ice) and Fourth of July at The Lake that bring people to town.
Other regular ongoing CVB expenses include:
•Operating the Chamber as an official Explore Minnesota Affiliate Travel Information Center to serve visitors with information for local and state travel opportunities.
•Maintaining a digital presence on the Explore Minnesota website.
•Advertising in state, regional and national travel magazines and on interstate billboards.
•Operating the “Roll On Luverne” borrow a bike program.
•Distributing more than 2,500 Luverne Visitors Guides to Minnesota Travel Information Centers, Chambers and CVBs throughout Minnesota
•Planning and coordinating special group tours, class reunions and family events to Luverne and Rock County (approximately 500-1,000 annually)
•Responding to individual requests for local information by visitors and new residents from leads generated by print advertising. (The Chamber responded to 1,500 requests for Visitor Guides last year.)
Campgrounds and “vacation rentals by owners,” which are not required to meet hotel industry requirements, are not required to collect lodging taxes.
Rate increases and construction lodging
The 2022 record lodging tax receipts of $72,377 reflect increased rates, but the hotels also operated at capacity most of the year, due to workers at major construction sites in and around Luverne.
For example, the labor force for Walleye Wind Farm’s construction of 40 turbines in western Rock County reached 200 workers at its peak last summer.
Other major projects last year were the Lineage Logistics 235,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse and National Guard Armory construction in Luverne’s industrial park, PrairiE Loft’s two 27-unit three-story apartment buildings on South Highway 75, the pool and fitness center addition and remodel.
The 2022 lodging tax receipts of $72,377 compare with $51,530 collected in 2021 and $32,968 during the pandemic in 2020.
Luverne hotels collecting the tax in 2022 include Econolodge, Super 8, Hillcrest, Cozy Rest and GrandStay.
Other lodging tax amounts collected in the past 10 years include:
$41,466.62 in 2013 when the GrandStay opened in June.
$47,086.40 in 2014
$52,398.03 in 2015
$53.066.03 in 2016
$53,363.30 in 2017
$45,717.65 in 2018
$47,369.80 in 2019
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is organized under the authority of State Statute by city ordinance. 
The CVB Board of Directors, which determines and prioritizes how funds are used, has given the Chamber operational responsibility to carry out its mission.

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