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Lexington Hospitality Industry Seeing An Uptick In Business

Stu Johnson

Those involved in Lexington’s hospitality industry expect a significantly busier summer of 2021 compared to a year ago.  National Travel and Tourism Week offers an opportunity to showcase efforts to attract visitors to the bluegrass.

VisitLex Vice President of Marketing Gathan Borden said hotel occupancy rates are definitely on the rebound. “Our occupancy last April in 2020, when all the restrictions were in place, was down to 16%.  But, now we look at occupancy rates this past April we were anywhere between the mid 50’s to the low 60’s.  We’ve had some occupancy weekends that have been in the high 80’s and the low 70’s, so Lexington is trending in the right direction,” said Borden. 

Still, Borden said it’s difficult to make firm predictions about summer numbers.  The VisitLex official noted there are just under 8000 motel rooms in Lexington.   

Borden added VisitLex is promoting post-vaccine cards, in the postcard form, for locals to send out invitations to family and friends.  “We partnered with a couple of elementary schools and we worked with some kids there in elementary school to actually help craft some messages for the grandparents to get them to come.  You know, kids are the best salesperson.  Nobody is going to say no to their grandkids, so we’ve got a handful of postcards we’re mailing out on behalf of some elementary schools to get them to invite their grandparents to come to Lexington as well,” explained Borden 

In addition to reaching out to those living within 300 miles or so of Lexington, Borden said there is a focus on staycations for locals. 

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