COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
Columbia hotel occupancy rates have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.
Figures provided by the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau show an occupancy rate of 66.9% for August, the highest in more than three years. The hospitality industry will see more visitors walk through the doors this weekend as the University of Missouri celebrates the reunion.
In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, occupancy rates were only 39.1% against 57.7% in March 2019. Last April, the rate fell to 21.1%. The rate of 66.9% recorded in August is 27.8 percentage points higher than in August 2020.
Marketing and communications director Megan McConachie said over the weekend that hotels in Columbia have only a few rooms… if any.
McConachie said that while the hospitality industry has not fully recovered, it is pleased with the huge progress it has seen on occupancy rates during the pandemic.
The rate for 2021 as a whole is 54.2%, a number comparable to the annual rates for 2019 and 2018.
Homecoming events are scheduled throughout the day on Saturday. The reunion parade will take place at 9 a.m. and the football team is hosting North Texas. at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
The weekends typically attract thousands of alumni and other visitors who fill up city hotel rooms, eat in restaurants, and drink in bars.
Downtown restaurants have also increased since this year. Shakespears Pizza CEO said, “Despite 2020, Reunion Weekend is one of the busiest weekends every year, no matter what. We expect this year to be very, very busy and we also expect people to want to go out and enjoy the evening ”.
Check back for more on this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.
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