Lodging Association gaining momentum | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lodging Association gaining momentum

The verdict is still out on what the summer will bring to local lodging properties, but recent efforts may turn the tide on filling rooms on the South Shore.

South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association President Charlie McDermid took a straw vote at the group’s Thursday meeting to get a feel for what managers experienced this spring.

A show of hands among about 30 people in the room indicated somewhat of a poor April, an upward swing in May and a mixed June, with two weeks remaining in the month.

“The summer is when we make our money,” McDermid reminded the group.

The Holiday Inn Express manager presented a challenge to save the summer: “How can we increase our revenues this summer and thus help the city increase its (Transient Occupancy Tax) revenues as well?”

For the most part, the group agreed tacky signs hinder the aesthetic beauty of the region. The four-year issue that led to a sign mandate is expected to spill over into the South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting to be held Tuesday at 6 p.m.

City Manager David Childs addressed the group, commending those managers who have made property improvements that have added to the overall image of the town. Childs has also noticed TOT revenues going up because the average daily room rates have increased as well.

The ADR numbers for the first calendar quarter have fluctuated between $72, $83 and $75 this year. The corresponding occupancy rate for January through March amounted to 37, 47 and 49 percent, respectively.

Traditionally, as the occupancy goes up, the ADR drops, and vice versa.

The city’s TOT remained above $904,000 for February and March, a $32,000 increase from February 2000 and a $36,000 drop from March 2000. Douglas County reported a 13.8 percent drop in TOT collected last March. Numbers for April and May have not been released.

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority indicated in a recent first-quarter report that 30 percent of South Lake Tahoe visitors chose the region for the quality of skiing. About 28 percent came for the area’s natural beauty and 17 percent noted the variety of ski resorts, the survey reported.

LTVA Executive Director Terry LeBan updated the group on efforts to boost summer visitation.

The LTVA is running a specialized summer promotional campaign involving print and radio advertising buys that aims at Central Valley residents, primarily in Sacramento.

“Everybody’s feeling a little bit of the pain coming into this summer,” LeBan said, referring to tourism-based businesses.

Tourism officials hope the pain shared by flatlanders will draw them into a quick Tahoe escape – away from the scorching temperatures and threat of rolling blackouts.

The LTVA, Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority and the private sector chipped into the $300,000 campaign designed to fill California beds. The Stateline casinos are keeping an eye on these bookings, which they heavily rely on to fill their gambling tables.

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