Severe flood impacts occupancy rates in area hotels -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Severe flood impacts occupancy rates in area hotels

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many area hotels and businesses rely on tourism and people coming to spend their time and money, but hotel managers say with the severe flooding some visitors physically couldn't get here.

Director for Resort Tourism at Coastal Carolina University, Taylor Damonte, says anytime there is a name storm or severe weather warning the occupancy rates are lower but he admits they weren't expecting it to be this severe.

“During the weekend where we had the storm, we were 29-percent down in occupancy, for Friday and Saturday night, compared to the occupancy for the same weekend the previous year, this past weekend we were down 25 percent compared to the same weekend last year. So yes, there has been an impact,” Damonte explained.

“It was absolutely noticeable, I think we ended up. We were at maybe 85-percent occupancy before the storm, and we got down to maybe 60 percent,” Chapman said.

To put a dollar amount on it, Island Vista's Shelley Chapman, says the resort was out about $30,000.

Another local hotel manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites, Tom Moore, says they were down 30-percent and over $150,000.

“The demand will come from regional, drive-from markets, so those markets can cancel, quite frankly when the weather forecast just a few days before their trip turns sour,” Damonte said.

Over at Island Vista they started to get cancellations mid-week.

“We tried to work with folks to maybe put their deposits on future stays, and in some cases refunded. "We had people that couldn't get here, you know a lot of the interstates were closed,” Chapman said.

Chapman feels now it's all about looking forward.

“I know there's so many people around the country that want to help South Carolina, because this state was devastated in many ways, the best way to do that is to come visit our state, support our state economically and experience all the great things we have to offer,” Chapman said.

Both hotel managers, Shelley Chapman and Tom Moore, say if you had a reservation in the area or know someone who does, you should call and see what your options are because many have waived their cancellation policy.

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