Lodgers' Tax

Visit Durango is primarily funded by lodging taxes. Approximately 60% of funding comes from the City of Durango Lodgers’ Tax, 30% of funding comes from La Plata County’s lodging tax and the remaining 10% is from partner services fees. 

What is Lodgers’ Tax?

The City of Durango and La Plata County lodging taxes are the tax locals don’t pay. Guests at hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rentals pay this tax. The tax was 2% for 41 years until it was increased to 5.25% in 2021.

Revenue is allocated to a few different services: 

  1. Arts and Cultural Events (example: the Creative District)

  2. Transportation and Transit (example: free bus rides)

  3. Sustainable Tourism Marketing (example: Visit Durango)


What does Visit Durango do with the Lodgers' Tax?

Visit Durango aims to grow the positive impacts of visitation and decrease the negative impacts felt both by residents and visitors. We want everyone to feel welcome, local businesses to flourish, and for visitors and locals to thrive.

How? By promoting sustainable, off-peak-season tourism, providing educational tools for visitors and community members, and supporting businesses. 

In 2023, Visit Durango received $1.9 million in funding from the City of Durango Lodgers' Tax and $924,000 from the La Plata County Lodgers' Tax. Here are a few ways those funds were used to sustain our visitor economy and benefit the community.

Local Community 

  • $135,000 of funds were allocated to local businesses to lessen environmental impacts and promote social sustainability. The Good Food Collective, Dancing Spirit Center for the Arts, Southwest Homeshare and In The Weeds were just some of the 2023 grant recipients. Their projects include environmental property upgrades, creative housing solutions, hospitality worker support and inclusion training.

  • 97 local events received a total of $265,000 in grant funding thanks to the Lodgers' Tax. Each event proved environmental and social efforts to ensure that our town’s beloved events continue to evolve to meet needs.


As a sustainable marketing organization, all our media content revolves around the concept of regenerative tourism. This includes the "Care for Durango" marketing campaign, which highlights responsible recreation, stewardship, dispersion, and environmental preservation. In 2023, we invested $28,850 toward these advertisements, and downtown banners aimed at promoting the cause.


Rather than hiring a national organization to oversee Durango’s marketing, the City of Durango continues to keep it local and contract with Visit Durango. Therefore employing 17 local staff who are committed community members. They currently hold volunteer positions at: Adaptive Sports Association, Sustainability Association of Southwest Colorado,  Bayfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Durango Creative District, Young Professionals of Durango, among others.

Resident Survey 

We invested time and resources into our annual Resident Sentiment Survey. This survey provides us key insights into the reception of visitorship, feedback on our initiatives and serves as a guide to developing future plans.

This is an example of the marketing we do:  https://youtu.be/xIdwTXDBkkA

Visit Durango strives to encourage visitation with minimal impact on the local environment and culture, while contributing to future employment for Durango and La Plata County residents. Our 2024-2029 strategic brief is linked here.