County notches over $52M in sales in 2015

Published 2:01 pm Sunday, February 12, 2017

Over $52 million in leisure and hospitality industry sales were generated in Mower County in 2015, according to Explore Minnesota Tourism, an increase of about 4 percent.

The figures — the most recent available — were taken from the Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and compiled by EMT.

The figures reflect activity within the industry, which is made up of performing arts, spectator sports, amusement, gambling, recreation, accommodations, food service and drinking establishments.

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In 2015, establishments in Mower County generated over $3.3 million in sales tax on the gross sales, handled by 1,230 employees who work in the industry.

The figure reflects a $2 million increase over 2014, according to past reports, although the total sales figure has both risen above or fallen below that figure over the past five years.

For instance, in 2012, over $56 million in gross sales was recorded; in the next year, it fell to $51.6 million.

The five-year average is just over $53 million.

Mower County’s sales rank as the eighth highest out of the 36 non-metro counties that make up southern Minnesota. Olmsted County ranks the highest with $472,309,455 in gross sales — the only county in the southern region to consistently increase its sales each of the last five years.

Behind Olmsted in gross sales was Blue Earth ($192 million), whose sales hub is Mankato; and in third was Rice County ($144 million) whose major cities are Faribault and a portion of Northfield.

The sales numbers have a number of factors affecting them, said Alyssa Hayes of Explore Minnesota.

“Most of the year-to-year changes reflect actual changes in sales and taxes, but Department of Revenue analysts who prepare the reports cite numerous other possibilities such as changes or improvements in industry classifications and addresses of businesses; and closings and openings or re-openings of businesses that may pose issues on a year-to-year basis. My understanding is that every tax filing for a new business or owner at a given location poses new possibilities for classification or address problems,” Hayes said.

She added that employment numbers tend to be more stable than sales figures, since reductions of or additions to the workforce tend to happen more slowly.

The long-range comparison showed that gross sales grew by 41 percent from 2005 to 2015.


The following are statewide highlights of the 2015 Explore Minnesota Tourism and Minnesota’s Economy report regarding Minnesota tourism:

•There were $14.4 billion in gross sales in 2015.

•$5.1 billion in wages to almost 260,000 full and part-time job holders.

•$930 million in state sales tax generated.

•71 million trips were taken within the state in 2015; of all funds generated, the largest portion went to food, at 24 percent; the next largest chunk went to lodging, at 21 percent.

•505,000 Canadian travelers came for overnight trips; another 311,000 travelers came from other countries.

•Sales at leisure and hospitality businesses grew by 41 percent ($10.2 billion in 2005; $14.4 billion in 2015) over the past 10 years.

•The highest expenditures are spent here in summer (37 percent) followed by fall (25 percent), winter (24 percent) and spring (14 percent).

•The county with the highest gross sales was Hennepin, with $4.9 billion recorded in 2015; Ramsey was next with $2 billion.

•Outside of the metro region ($9.8 billion) the region with the highest gross sales was southern Minnesota, at $1.6 billion.