Prince Rupert hoteliers say summer 2011 was a busy one

According to the managers of two of Prince Rupert’s bigger hotels, business was good during the summer of 2011.

According to the managers of two of Prince Rupert’s bigger hotels, business was good during the summer of 2011.

“This summer has been great for us. We’re well up over last year, and I think that is reflected in the community in the increased amount for the two per cent hotel tax that is collected and returned to the City,” said Coast Prince Rupert Hotel general manager Corey Kitchen.

“From all accounts the industry, as a whole, is up across the north.”

Scott Farwell of the Crest Hotel said this year has been pretty good for them too. Both he and Kitchen said there is one group of travelers in particular that has grown this year.

“July started strong with the sport fishing tourist, our bus traffic is about even with last year and the number of fully independent travellers is up significantly. These are mostly folks around 50 who want to do their own thing and not be on someone else’s schedule,” said Farwell.

“For our property, the tour groups were lower but what we’re seeing a big increase in independent travelers. Those include families that come in and spend multiple days and more money in town while the tour groups usually check in and are gone the next morning. It’s good for hotel business but not as good for the community,” said Kitchen.

Looking forward, both Farwell and Kitchen say the future is looking good.

“2012, from our overseas bookings, is looking even better than 2011. Year over year we also had a good spring with conventions and events and hopefully we’ll catch some more of that next year but it’s too early to tell,” said Kitchen.