Hotel rooms

La Crosse area hotel rooms are booked again

Return of leisure travel and festivals boosts local hospitality

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — More and more people are traveling again, which is good news for the local hospitality industry.

Local tourism executives say the year has started slowly, but so far hotel revenue in La Crosse County is up 52% ​​over last year.

Hotels are thriving on tourism, which was virtually non-existent for most of last year.

But more and more people are going out this summer, so booking a hotel room at the Country Inn & Suites through October won’t be easy.

“Almost every weekend is sold out,” said general manager Jay Patel. “Every weekend there is some sort of event going on.”

The return of leisure travel and festivals this year is paying off for area hotels.

“No one does festivals better than the La Crosse area,” said Explore La Crosse Executive Director AJ Frels.

Frels says some hotels in the county are reporting occupancy rates between 70 and 80 percent.

“The resurfacing and the return of festivals that we have seen has been wonderful, and it has certainly helped our hotels,” he said.

While hotels like Country Inn & Suites are generating more revenue, they are still struggling to find enough staff.

“It’s a crisis everywhere,” Patel said.

Patel says these issues can create an inconvenient experience for some customers.

“Our check-in time is 3 p.m. But sometimes we might be so busy that we can’t get all the rooms ready at that time,” Patel said.

Still, he says it feels good to see customers filling rooms again.

“We’re getting back to normal sooner than usual than we thought,” Patel said.

And he says reservations will continue as long as people stay safe.

Patel says Country Inn’s average occupancy rate is currently around 75%.

Frels adds that hotels generally need an occupancy rate of around 70% to be able to cover costs.

Year-to-date, La Crosse County hotel revenue for January through July is about $23 million, up from $15 million a year ago.

However, hotel revenues at this time two years ago were around $29 million.

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