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SCV’s hotel occupancy surpasses majority of local markets

Posted: October 7, 2011 12:02 p.m.
Updated: October 7, 2011 12:02 p.m.
 

 The number of nights hotel rooms were occupied in the Santa Clarita Valley jumped 9.1 percent, marking the largest percentage increase in occupancy among Los Angeles markets, when comparing January through August 2011.

The region also experienced a 7.1 percent increase in occupancy for the month of August 2011, the second largest increase for the month in comparison to other L.A. markets. 

Santa Clarita’s occupancy rate was 84.24 percent in August 2011, compared to 78.63 percent in August 2010, according to PKF Hospitality Research August 2011 Trends report.  The city surpassed 10 of the 16 markets studied.

August occupancy rates were higher in Santa Clarita than Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, downtown L.A., Beverly Hills and West L.A.

“We are thrilled to see Santa Clarita leading Southern California so far this year in increases to hotel occupancy,” said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager with the city of Santa Clarita.

During the nine-month study period, local hotel rates dropped 0.1 percent, the only area to see a decrease in the 11 markets included in the study.  In August 2011, however, rates increased slightly by 2.4 percent. Locally, average daily rates in August were $104.71.

Event driven

The city of Santa Clarita attributes the gains to several factors, including an improving regional economy and the fact that the area’s landmark theme park Six Flags Magic Mountain opened several new rides this year, including Superman: Escape from Krypton and Green lantern: First Flight.

In addition to fixed tourist destination spots, the city also hosted the Amgen Tour of California cycling race again this year as well as soccer and aquatic events.

“The City places a high priority on attracting sports and cultural events that in turn attract visitors to town, filling up the hotel rooms and helping the economy” Crawford said.

Tourism Marketing District

The city formed the area’s first Tourism Marketing District, or TMD, as part of the city’s 21-Point Business Plan for Progress, developed in 2010, by working with five hotels in support of boosting revenue to attract events to the area.

The TMD hotel properties collect an additional two percent assessment on visitor room nights, with assessment fees used to market Santa Clarita and support event attraction and retention.

“The TMD is fueled by a partnership between the City, The Hyatt Regency, Embassy Suites, Courtyard By Marriott, Best Western and Holiday Inn Express,” Crawford said.

Efforts to raise awareness about Santa Clarita as a tourism destination are considered to be part of the areas tourism success in 2011.

Attracting events to Santa Clarita directly benefits businesses economically as visitors spend money locally. Bringing big name events, like Amgen, also generate positive name recognition for the city and help to attract more businesses and future events. All combined hotel occupancy rates increase as well.

“We are beginning to see the fruits of success of the new Tourism Marketing District,” Crawford said.

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