Hotels in the Coachella Valley finished 2017 with strong occupancy numbers despite the cancellation of mega music concert Desert Trip.
In 2016, Hotels broke occupancy records during the highly promoted concert. When it was announced that Desert Trip would not be coming to the polo fields in 2017, hotels feared the worst but were pleasantly surprised.
"I think everyone is really bullish and optimistic about 2018 based on how we finished 17′ without the infamous concert, Desert Trip or Oldchella, which brought a lot of visitation in October raised occupancy and raised rates, and we were able to absorb all of that going into November and December. And really finished the year strong," said Scott White, president of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In October last year, hotels showed more than 60 percent occupancy, better than the year before. November occupancy was also up from 2016. White said the uptick is due to the agency’s marketing and promotional efforts.
"Instead of us as the CVB having one commercial now we’ve got 11 different partners that are broadcasting with us through our co-op campaign, so the reach is much, much greater. Twenty-eight billion impressions last year. So a lot of people are seeing the message about the destination, about how great it is to be here," said White.
Visitors say the unusually brutal winter in their home states was the reason they are coming out to the desert now.
"We have just had sleet and snow, which only happens once in almost a lifetime," said New Orleans native Becka Curry. "We decided that we had to come, it’s such a great place. It was a good way to get out of the horrible weather of New Orleans."
Another reason for the uptick in hotel occupancy is the variety of accommodations, from larger hotels like The Kimpton Rowan, to the smaller boutique hotels scattered around Palm Springs.
"The nice thing and the great thing about our destination is there is so many different opportunities for different types of travelers coming form all over the world, that are looking for that. We’re becoming much more appealing because of having that diversity," said White.