Report: Hotel occupancy up along Grand Strand

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - One of the last waves of tourists heading to the Grand Strand this summer gave a much-needed boost to the area's hotel occupancy rates, according to new statistics released Thursday by Coastal Carolina University.

Researchers with the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism reported weekend occupancy rates rose 9.9 percent from previously recorded numbers in 2009. Midweek occupancy rates also saw a slight spike, up 3.8 percent from the equivalent period last year.

While the new report comes as good news to hoteliers across Horry County, reservation outlooks aren't as strong in Georgetown County.

Researchers report that only 40.2 percent of properties in Georgetown County are reserved for the week of Aug. 28. That number, according to officials, is down 9.8 occupancy points from previous reservation levels in 2009.

Officials said more than 68 percent of available properties in Horry County are reserved for the week of Aug. 28.

It is forecasted the average occupancy for its sample of hotels, condos and campsites during the weekend nights of Aug. 28-29 will be near or above 72 percent.

Since July 11, researchers said 89.7 percent of lodging facilities located across the Grand Strand were occupied. The number of reserved and occupied properties rose 3.5 percent from the same time frame in 2009.

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