Seattle doubled its hotel fee. Here's where the money is going

Now, as summer 2022 finally gets underway in Seattle, tourists are walking the waterfront, cruise ships are arriving and hotel occupancy rates are climbing back up to 60%. To help aid that recovery and ensure more visitors come and stay in the city, the hospitality industry is turning to what may seem like a counterintuitive approach: a higher fee on hotel rooms.

Crosscut is publishing a focus on tourism this week: Open for Visitors.

The Seattle Tourism Improvement Area is an 11-year-old special assessment authority that requires 70 hotels in the greater downtown core to charge a per-room, per-night fee. When it was created in 2011, the STIA fee was

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