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Flagstaff tourism held up despite partial forest closures

December 2, 2018

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A decision by federal officials last May to close parts of the national forest around Flagstaff caused concerns about lost spending during the peak of the tourist season.

Cooler temperatures apparently were enough to draw visitors to northern Arizona.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports a key indicator was an increase in sales tax revenue for Flagstaff.

The city says it was 11 percent higher in June than in the same month last year. The city’s tax on bars, restaurants and hotels — called the bed, board and beverage tax — increased by 8 percent.

Some popular recreation sites on the Coconino National Forest were closed for about six weeks, including all of June, because of wildfire danger.

Forest spokesman Brady Smith says many visitors wanted to escape the desert heat.

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