Big events mean record breaking numbers for Charlotte area hotel - | WBTV Charlotte

Big events mean record breaking numbers for Charlotte area hotels

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Tourism officials will tell you summers - especially summer weekends - are difficult times for hotels to find guests.

"The summer has always been a need period" said Tom Murray, of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority {CRVA}.

But this summer, hotels in Charlotte and Mecklenburg are not in need.

Murray said "actually all summer we've been seeing record numbers. We've seen huge growth particularly in July - really strong growth on the weekends and a lot of that is caused by some of the big events we had in the summer."

According to the CRVA, "preliminary results for the entire month of July showed that occupancy levels averaged 70 percent in the county, which is 10 percent higher than 2013. In comparison, average July occupancy since 2006 has hovered at 64 percent."

Tourism officials said the Alpha Kappa Alpha Boule in July, and the Guinness International Champions Cup between Liverpool and A.C. Milan played at Bank of America Stadium propelled record setting hotel occupancy this summer in the area.

"The week of AKA July 12-18, the county averaged 84 percent occupancy, up 16 percent over the previous summer during the same week" the CRVA said.

Murray added "we've been successful  as a community attracting these large conventions."

Tourism officials said their strategy of going after social groups, and amateur sporting events for the weekends is paying off.

According to the CRVA, "The week of the Guinness International Champions Cup, which sold 69,300+ tickets, occupancy in Center City grew to 89 percent for the weekend (Thursday through Saturday) compared to 57 percent for the previous year. Saturday alone generated 96 percent occupancy.

For the county, occupancy averaged 83 percent, peaking at 87 percent on Saturday."

Tourism officials say the high occupancy is translating into millions of dollars for the local economy.

Murray said the city's reputation is growing and is attractive.

"We have amenities such as our museums, our cultural facilities, all the restaurants downtown. The walkability of our downtown is one of the things we hear that is one of the most attractive features of our downtown."

But it enough to win the bid for an NBA All-Star Weekend?

The NBA wants at least a 6-thousand block of hotel rooms.

WBTV has learned that for a city to be in consideration for the NBA All-Star Weekend, it also needs venues to host different all-star events, and plenty of parking.

Team executives of the Charlotte Hornets and other community leaders are in New York delivering a bid to the NBA to host the All-Star Weekend in a couple of years.

For now, city officials say they're winning the battle to attract visitors in the summer.

This coming weekend, the Pride Parade & Festival will take place in Charlotte. Tourism officials said that event drew 80,000 people last year.

The American Legion National Convention is August 22-28 and is expected to have 10,000 visitors.

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