North Dakota’s hotel industry recovering
MINOT, N.D. – About 30 hotel properties closed across the state last year according to the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The report adds that not all of the closings are because of the pandemic, and some are temporary.
Hotels like the Clarion in Minot ran into some issues with occupancy rates plummeting last year. By February 2021 they were still 10 percentage points lower than in 2019.
“As of last week I think we’re up about 20%, that’s a big boost. What’s causing it? I don’t know. It’s kind of we’re busy one week, and not busy the next,” said Chris Baze, Clarion Manager.
Minot saw two hotels close temporarily last year, and one is closed now waiting for summer.
“Hotels in Minot in particular we have seen an uptick from business travelers so that’s helped as well. There’s no doubt there’s still a lot of room for growth, but it is nice to see that there has been an increase in traffic,” said Stephanie Schoenrock, Visit Minot Executive Director.
Schoenrock said the sporting events in the last couple months have helped carry hotels through.
“It’ll take years to get back where we were, but what we had projected versus what we’re seeing now is being above projections. We are bouncing back,” said Baze.
Visitors spent $233 million less on lodging in 2020 than they did in 2019.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce said in a statement:
“We believe there is tremendous opportunity for a strong tourism recovery in ND. Our spring campaign is beginning and will feature our wide open spaces, outdoor entertainment and recreation and our smaller and safer cities. We continue to tout that ND is a place where you can ‘follow your curiosity not the crowds’ which will fare well in a post-pandemic environment.”
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