Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Does the convention business still matter?

The answer, accord to the Charlotte Observer, is “not so much.” Some highlights:

Mecklenburg County hotels are on pace to sell about 5.8 million hotel room nights for 2013, according to data from Smith Travel Research. That would be the most hotel rooms ever sold in the county. It also would be a 3 percent increase over 2012, which was a strong year due to the DNC.

Despite not having the DNC this year, the average daily rate charged for county hotel rooms is $94.37 through October. That’s down only slightly from the same period in 2012, when the daily rate was $94.65.

The county’s occupancy rate is the highest it has been since 2007, and hotels are on pace to produce more in revenue in 2013 than for any other year.

and also:

With Mecklenburg hoteliers selling 5.8 million rooms, the share of the convention business will be about 2.6 percent of all rooms sold in 2013. The center had a 4.6 percent share of the county’s hotel business in 1996.

And a convention bump from the DNC? None apparent — which isn’t really a surprise if you look the experiences of other cities that have hosted political national conventions. And as a case in point, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority wants to book at least 150,000 hotel room-nights of convention business a year. So far they signed up under 60,000 room-nights for 2015.

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