Industry Update from CVB President/CEO Tracy Kimberlin

Hotel statistics continue to be well below normal as stay-at-home orders remain in place around the country.

For April 19-25, hotel occupancy was down 65.9 percent, average daily rate was down 34.4 percent, demand was down 65.2 percent and revenue was down 77.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Recovery won’t be anytime soon. This week, two additional large group events were canceled due to the pandemic. The National Street Rod Assoc. Mid-America Street Rod Nationals would have brought 6,000 people to the city May 22-24 and the Gold Wing Road Riders Assoc. Wing Ding would have brought 8,000 people to the city June 30-July 4.

Combined, just those two events represent 9,500 room nights at area hotels and more than $3 million in spending that won’t take place unless the events can be rebooked. The Convention & Visitors Bureau is working hard to get those and others that have canceled booked at later dates but an uncertain future is making that difficult.

Since mid-March, more than 40 events that were booked by the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Springfield Sports Commission were canceled because of the pandemic. More than 115,000 people were expected to attend those events that would have generated more than 40,000 room nights at area hotels. The loss to the local economy is estimated to be more than $26 million and that doesn’t include groups booked directly by hotels that also have canceled. More than $2.1 million in state and local tax revenue also was lost.

The good news is we should start seeing some improvements beginning next week when the stay-at-home orders are lifted in Springfield and Greene County. Though many restrictions on gatherings of people remain in place, it’s reassuring to see things moving in a direction that will help business get back to normal.

Tracy Kimberlin is the President & CEO of the Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau