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ORLANDO-April resort tax collections from 116,000 rooms at hotels, motels and short-term rentals totaled $10.48 million, down 4.7% from April 2004 and marking the first time in the county’s fiscal year monthly revenue didn’t surpass last year’s figures. The county collected $10.9 million in April 2004.

Despite the dip, the county’s seven-month revenue total stands at $73.93 million or an average $10.56 million per month. If that pace continues, the county will end its fiscal year Sept. 30 with a final total of $126.74 million, surpassing the record $114.8 million collected in 2004.

County comptroller Martha O. Haynie attributes the slippage to Easter falling in March this year instead of April, slowing travel to area attractions. “When comparing collections for March/April 2004 with March/April 2005, collections for the two-month period this year exceeded collections during the same two-month period last year by nearly 7%,” Haynie notes.

Area hoteliers saw similar revenue declines in April but continue to renovate and upgrade properties for an expected busy summer season, area hotel brokers tell GlobeSt.com. Marriott International Inc., for example, reports it is on schedule to add 75,000 to 90,000 hotel rooms worldwide from 2006 to 2008. About 75% of the new rooms will be in the US.

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