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Monday, August 5,2013

No vacancy (and that’s a good thing)

Hotels in Greater Lansing see a bump in occupancy

by Sean Bradley
The Kellogg Center (pictured) on the campus of Michigan State University is one of the Lansing area hotels that saw an uptick in business this year. Courtesy photo.

Monday, Aug. 5 —Lansing area hotels saw an uptick in occupancy this year, signaling a growth in the capital city’s tourism industry. The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau released a report last week saying more people are choosing Lansing as their premier destination for a hotel stay. In the first six months of 2013, hotel room occupancy went up 7.5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data collected by hospitality research firm Smith Travel Research.

The report said capital area hotels are reporting 58.6 percent occupancy, up from 54.3 percent last year. In the release, GLCVB President Jack Scripsema attributed this growth to the teamwork his organization has with places like the Lansing Center and other hotel partners around the area, especially when trying to bring groups staying in the city for the first time.

“We're stronger as a team when competing for group business in particular,” Scripsema said. “That partnership we have is one of the best we've had in many years.”

He said well-attended events like the Michigan Republican Party State Convention at the Lansing Center in February, the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University in May, and last spring’s Midwest Women's Bowling Tournament helped drive the growth of the hospitality industry in Lansing.

“A regional hotel general manager recently (said they’re) seeing 6 to 10 percent increases in room revenue compared to last year at this time,” Scripsema said in a news release. “(They’re) posting all-time record highs since their property was built back in the 1980’s. Those are firm, measurable numbers we can really build on going forward.”

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