SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Signs are pointing to a recovery for the hospitality and tourism industries in Springfield this season.
The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau says conventions are beginning to fill up its calendar for Fall and Winter 2021.
Dana Maugans, Director of Sales for the Springfield CVB says business travel has yet to recover, but leisure travel has recently skyrocketed.
“Many months have been record setting months and a lot of it is because of the leisure travel that has increased. Business travel is still down, and the convention groups are actually still down too.”
Maugan says 112 big events and conventions have been held in Springfield since March of 2020, compared to 118 that have been postponed or canceled.
But big events coming up in the next few months will likely bring in much-needed tourism dollars.
Last weekend, the USA BMX Gold Cup Championship was held in Springfield, bringing about 2,000 attendees.
Maugans says the group booked 1,375 room nights, and in total, generated an estimated $600,000 in sales.
Among those expected to generate at least 1,000 room nights for area hotels this season are:
- Oct. 8-10 – Lake Country Soccer, 3,000 attendees, 1,200 room nights
- Nov. 11-14 – Ozark Kennel Club, 2,500 attendees, 1,000 room nights
- Dec. 10-11 – National Beta Club, 1,500 attendees, 1,806 room nights
At the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, staff says business is looking promising after a rough year and a half.
“The month of April of 2020 we had literally zero revenue from group and convention business,” says Sarah Sissel, Director of Sales for Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.
She says there was a slight uptick in bookings in July 2021 but was otherwise slow while the delta variant took hold of the Ozarks.
This October, Sissel says bookings are at about 80% of what they were in October of 2019.
She says this month will likely be the strongest the hotel has had since the pandemic began.