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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Report: Oil Gusher impacting Gulf Coast Hotels

by Calculated Risk on 6/03/2010 02:43:00 PM

From Christine Blank at Oil-spill update: Hotels report mixed results

Tourism officials and hotel operators in Gulf of Mexico coastal regions say they are struggling with occupancy and reservations, but some areas are suffering more than others.
“We have had some cancellations. It is hitting the beachfront properties hard and the casinos have seen some impact ... and the charter boat companies,” said Richard Forester, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau in Biloxi.
“Our members are experiencing unprecedented cancellations heading into their peak season, and this advertising campaign is critical to our economic survival,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in Tallahassee ... Many hoteliers in Northwest Florida that are typically at 90 percent occupancy rates heading into the Memorial Day weekend, were reporting a drop in bookings by 30 percent, according to the FRLA.
Texas’s coastal hotels also are feeling an impact, but that could be due to the overall U.S. economy more than to the oil spill.

“We have yet to have any cancellations [because of the oil spill],” said Theresa Elliott, GM of Casa del Mar Beachfront Suites, Galveston, Texas. ... Galveston-area hotels are significantly discounting rooms to boost stays, such as 20-percent off Sunday through Thursday stays, according to Elliott.
The economic impact of the oil gusher is unclear, although tourism, fishing and shipping are all being impacted.