Kentucky ranked 2nd in economic recovery amid pandemic, Warren Co. had highest hotel occupancy rate in past month

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 8:34 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Warren County had the highest hotel occupancy rate in Kentucky among the most popular tourism areas (including 13 cities) over the past month.

“2020 has definitely been a rough year across the board for all industries and tourism was really hurt first and will take the longest to recover. But we are still hopeful that we’re starting to see a little bit of a bounce back in in tourism. I think one of the things that was really helped us in Bowling Green is we have a lot of great outdoor attractions, so there’s plenty of room to spread out when you’re at these,” said Beth Noffsinger, Communications Director, Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

According to Smith Travel Research, the occupancy rate reached 50.4 percent, a sign local tourism is beginning to return since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

“Motorsports events drove our occupancy,” said Sherry Murphy, executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “2020 has been devastating for the tourism industry, and it will take years for travel to reach pre-pandemic levels. We were thrilled that our hospitality industry saw renewed activity in September.”

Holley LS Fest East on Sept. 11-13; the Holley MoParty, held with ChallengerFest, over Sept. 17-20; and the Holley Intergalactic Ford Fest/NMRA All-Ford World Finals on Oct. 1-4, at Beech Bend Raceway Park were major contributors to the increase in visitor traffic. The NCM Motorsports Park hosted some LS Fest participants, as well.

The MSP also hosted the SCCA Time Trials on Sept. 24-27 and the OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car on Oct. 10-11, among its summer and fall events. Holley worked with a local task force to get approval from the governor’s office to hold the events at Beech Bend, putting several measures into place to help keep spectators, participants and residents safe. The area has also seen increased traffic from visitors on fall break who want to take in all our city has to offer.

“People enjoy visiting Bowling Green because of the incredible hospitality they receive at our hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops,” said Larry Bailey, board chairman for the CVB. “We are fortunate to have passionate local tourism ambassadors at our hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions hosting visitors and showcasing Bowling Green.” Smith Travel Research provides data to hospitality sectors around the globe.

Kentucky is 2nd among states seeing the best economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LendingTree analyzed five economic metrics (consumer spending, the number of open small businesses, small business revenue, job postings, and unemployment rate) to find the states that are closest to seeing pre-pandemic economic conditions. A quick look at what we found:

  • Kentucky is 2nd in the ranking. Consumer spending in Kentucky was just 2.7% below January, while job postings were just 6.8% below January levels.
  • Idaho’s economy has gotten the closest to reaching pre-pandemic levels. Small business revenue in August was just 5% below January levels, while the August unemployment rate in the state was only 1.4 percentage points above what it was in January.
  • Nevada is the state with the worst economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate was 9.6 percentage points higher than in January. Many of those workers will struggle to find work, as job postings were 30.3% below January levels.
  • Overall, no state has returned to pre-pandemic levels in any of the categories outside of a few states that saw consumer spending levels return.

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