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Lewes, Delaware
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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998

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Sussex accommodation tax revenue soars; SCAT told 5 million visit beach each year By Michael Short Delaware Director of Tourism Gigi Windley told the Sussex County Association of Towns on March 4 that accommodation rev- enue is up and tourism is boom- ing. Windley spoke generally about tourism, saying it can be either good or bad, depending on how well it is planned, and she stressed the importance of community in- volvement in what she called good tourism. "You cannot take community development out of economic de- velopment." Windley said that more than 5 million visitors came to Delaware&apos;s beaches last year. Quoting figures from an August 1997 preliminary version of an economic study on beach replen- ishment, Windley said that 5,096,000 vis- itors came to Delaware beaches. The most common attraction for the visitors were the Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach areas (82 percent of visitors polled had vis- ited those beaches in the last month). Visitors spent approxi- mately $506 million - $128 mil- lion on restaurants, $66 million on food stores and $94 million on lodging, according to the prelimi- nary study. Spending was roughly divided between overnight and day visi- tors, with day visitors spending approximately $4 million more. Windley al- so said that accommoda- tion tax rev- enue is quick- ly increasing, meaning Sus- sex County WINDLEY takes a larger share of the 8 percent state tax that earmarks part of its funds to cham- bers of commerce and convention centers. That state tax (1 percent of the 8 percent tax is earmarked for cham- bers and convention centers) was created in 1990 and raised $188,000 for Sussex County in its first year. It has since risen to $318,000. Windley described tourism as "a devil's bargain that we go into with little knowledge and great expectations and without knowing the whole cost. "If you are proactive, you target visitors and you pay attention to tourism product," then you can reap the rewards of a good tourism program, according to Windley. She said that good tourism can actually protect the environment. For example, ecotourism is prov- ing enormously popular at making the environment a huge drawing point for visitors. She said the key is planning. "To succeed, [once] again, tourism should be planned and managed." Statistics show that Bethany Beach-Fenwick Island (51 percent of visitors had visitedthose areas in the previous month) and Lewes ranked second and third, represen- tatives, as visitor attractions, ac- cording to Windley. But Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach were the most attractive sites for beach visitors. Visitors were most likely to stay in vacation homes and Windley said that 95 percent of visitors polled said they were very satis- fied with their vacation experi- ence. http://homes.( Coldwell Banker initiates Internet service Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation recently announced the launch of Personal Retriever, a new Web site enhancement that automatically searches and re- trieves property listings that match online house hunters' spe- cific criteria. Personal Retriever, which can be accessed through the company's comprehensive Web site, <>, will be officially launched and sup- ported by a new national and local advertising campaign this month. Coldwell Banker, the first nation- al real estate company to create a Web site, is now the first to offer automatic online retrieval specifi- cally designed for individual home buyers' needs. optional service to those Web site browsers logged on to Coldwell Banker online. Once a browser chooses to register with Personal Retriever, an animated golden re- triever guides them through a user-friendly, one-time registra- tion process. Consumers enter specific infor- mation on a profile form regard- ing house location, price range and room configuration (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.) requirements. Personal Retriever then automatically searches for profile matches and sends e-mail directly to the customer that con- tain information on the matching Coldwell Banker listings, and connects them automatically to relevant Coldwell Banker online listing pages. "Today's prospective home buyer not only wants to be com- pletely informed about houses in the marketplace, but they want customized information and they want it as soon as it become avail- able," said Alex Perriello, Cold- well Banker president and CEO. "Personal Retriever is the Cold- well Banker response to those consumer needs. In essence, Per- sonal Retriever allows consumers to find houses that match their specific interests without their having to do the work of search- ing online every day for new property information. Once that home buyer has predetermined properties they know they want to see, their sales associate benefits as well. Both parties can get to the business of real estate more quick- ly and efficiently." Personal Retriever is a free and CJkPE:, ]PridayMm]mh 13 ,-'19,1998 .59 Once You Visit The Villages of Old Landing! You Won't Want To live/,he Else. [ ..efa cotmJtY of y homes in a beautiful and serene setting only a few minutes from Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. The Villages of Old Landing offers you single-floor living at its best. Choose 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms from 6 stunning floor plans. From $126,900 to $174,900 (dudo t and home) 2-cer Slmge* Poel t pod hotm . 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