COVID-19 hit many sectors hard, but one of the biggest areas affected was the hotel sector as travel came to a virtual stop.
Numbers are starting to rebound as life begins to return to the way it was before March 2020 with this weekend being an indicator of that in Regina.
With the Riders playing their first game at Mosaic Stadium since the Western Final in November 2019, it means many are coming to Regina for the game and deciding to stay in a hotel than make the trip back after.
Tracy Fahlman is the President and CEO of the Regina Hotel Association. She says the numbers are at a level they have not seen in a while.
“It is so exciting as the sector prepares to welcome Rider fans. ” Fahlman said. “We have an occupancy level at this time of 70 percent which is a level we have not been at for 16 months. There are still plenty of rooms available for those that would like to stay after the game and take in some post-game activities and maybe get breakfast or lunch before heading home.”
It is no secret that hotels have had a tough time of it and that while some sectors are bouncing back, the hotel sector is still struggling. Fahlman says the first six months of the year have not been great, but this may be the impetus to a strong finish.
“It is no secret that the hotel sector has been hit hard by the pandemic with the forecast being we will be the last one to recover.” Fahlman said. “The first half of the year saw hotel occupancy average 25 percent which is quite the gap of 60 percent pre-pandemic. With the numbers we are seeing this weekend, we are hoping this is a start and that as other events start to take place again that the last half of the year can get us to somewhat normal.”
While there is excitement for this weekend, Fahlman says there is also excitement for the Labour Day weekend which traditionally for them has been the biggest weekend of the year.