Hudson Valley hotels see surge in patrons
A recent report shows hotels are seeing a three-year high in the demand for rooms - and the trend is being seen in the Hudson Valley
"I've been to Manhattan to Long Island to Queens and to the Bronx in the last couple of days," said Darius Opada, a tourist from Georgia.
Opada is one of millions now taking trips, which is helping fill hotels once vacant during the pandemic.
"They feel free to go somewhere or anywhere without the fear of getting, you know, COVID," said Opada.
He just checked out of Royal Regency Hotel in Yonkers where Executive Vice President Maria Paxos-Pampafikos said they are relieved to see guests fill rooms.
"There is an emotional difference. You feel the difference coming into the facility," she said.
New data shows another pandemic-era high in U.S. hotel occupancy with 72.3% occupancy during the week ending June 25.
Leisure travel is up, but the same can’t be said for business travel.
"The major corporations that are in Westchester County are either not back to the office or still remaining remote. So it's that midweek business travel that we are still waiting for,” said Sean Meade, president of the Westchester Hotel Association and general manager of Cambria Suites in White Plains.
Despite the lack of business travel, hotels are doing well enough to hire additional staff.
Royal Regency has nearly a dozen open positions.
"Social media, we are sending out newsletters obviously. We talk to our current staff if they know people who are currently looking for work,” said Paxos-Pampafikos.
The upward trend in hotel occupancy is expected to continue through July.