New York Times bestselling author and Wyoming native C.J. Box on Friday thanked Wyoming citizens for convincing the Wyoming Legislature to approve a 5% statewide lodging tax.
In an email from the Wyoming Office of Tourism, Box said the new tax will “usher in a new era” for tourism in Wyoming.
“Although it was a very hard-fought battle and the legislation is far from perfect, it should allow for increased funding for our state and the excellent team led by [Tourism Office Executive Director] Diane Shober.
Box, the newly-installed Chairman of the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board of Directors, said passage of the new tax was a significant achievement for Wyoming’s second largest industry and largest employer.
“Gov. Gordon identified the new bill as the only tax he would support is further proof of our clout and importance,” he said. “Feel free to take a bow.”
Box has been prolific during the pandemic urging citizens on social media channels to support local businesses like restaurants by using curbside service.
“We want to do our part in keeping local restaurants open so we order curbside meals every night and tip generously,” he said in a YouTube video.
As for the prospects of Wyoming tourism during the pandemic, Shober, in an interview with Cowboy State Daily on Thursday, was cautiously optimistic stating that it was too early to tell if the pandemic would significantly impact tourism.
“This summer will be critical,” she said. “This is an export economy. People coming here from other places helps offset our revenues across our cities, counties and state.”
Polls have shown the pandemic took a significant toll on the public’s desire to travel this summer, but a month or more of staying at home could change that, she said.