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MailTribune.com
  • 2014 starts out with a bang for S. Oregon lodging businesses

  • Sparked by international tourism growth and a steady diet of East Coast travelers, the Historic Prospect Hotel continues to see its business tick up.
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  • Sparked by international tourism growth and a steady diet of East Coast travelers, the Historic Prospect Hotel continues to see its business tick up.
    "Actually, we've had a pretty strong year so far," said owner Fred Wickman on Thursday. "We've had more no-vacancy nights than last year, and last year was a strong year."
    On the whole, the first half of 2014 was good for the region's hotel owners and innkeepers.
    The latest figures compiled by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn., show revenue per available room climbed 9.2 percent to $65.87 in June over the corresponding period in 2013, while overall room revenue grew 8.2 percent to $16.4 million. Occupancy rose 4.8 percent to 74.3 percent, while room rates pushed up 4.1 percent to $88.60. All of the monthly gains surpassed the first six months of the year.
    Wickman said foreign tour groups ranging from Asia to Australia and Europe account for 18 to 20 percent of his summer bookings.
    "It's nothing to sneeze about, and it's been increasing every year," he said.
    There's been a steady stream of transcontinental traffic headed for nearby Crater Lake.
    "Most of it's from New York, Florida or the Carolinas," Wickman said.
    While the Prospect Hotel is attracting a largely national and international clientele, Pinehurst Inn owner Donnie Rowlett reports the majority of his overnight activity is from surrounding counties.
    "The weekends when we're full, it's usually because people are here for a wedding at the Box R Ranch," he said. "Our steady, ongoing guests are from Klamath Falls or Medford, with about 10 percent from everyone else. It's been feast and famine. From one weekend to the next, it's been all over the map, but it's been better than the last few years."
    Room rates for Oregon overall are higher than in the six-county Southern Oregon region, averaging $108.86 and leading to room revenue of more than $153 million.
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.
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