Downtown KC Hotel is the latest to reopen in the “stagnation of demand” of travel and staycation


From tourists to locals seeking a staycation, the demand for hotel rooms in Kansas City is gradually returning to normal.

Vaccinated people leaving their homes after COVID-19 has ceased tourism and hospitality have booked more than double the number of rooms they occupy last year. However, the numbers have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the data provided by, the average number of hotel reservations in downtown June was about 2,400 rooms. Access KC.. That’s about 65% of what the hotel expected before the pandemic, but well above the 900 rooms booked in mid-June last year.

So far this year, about 30% of downtown rooms have been booked. The number of metropolitan areas was slightly higher at 45%. Downtown hotels rely heavily on business and convention travel to return at a slower pace than leisure, so it can take some time to fully recover.

General Manager of Chad Morwinkle Sheraton And Westin The Crown Center hotel said things were looking up.

“The phone is ringing in a way that wasn’t even six months ago,” he said. “It’s a very positive sign for us.”

Sheraton closed for COVID-19, refurbished and reopened on Thursday. For this task, 70 rooms were changed from single king beds to double queen beds, the ballroom was refurbished, and all rooms were redone with new bedding, carpet, paint, lighting fixtures and chairs for $ 8 million. An upgrade was included.

According to Visit KC, it is the last major hotel in downtown that has reopened after the pandemic.

According to Morwinkle, the company was waiting for the right time after widespread travel and business restrictions. And this seemed to be the case, as vaccination rates increased and more people were looking for a room.

“To reopen a hotel, we need a basic business to cover fixed costs,” he said. “But we are so excited that we are now able to reach the point with vaccination and the resumption of the local economy that allows employees to return to work.”

Most of the increased business has been driven by people traveling for fun. According to the American Hotel and Lodge Association, 56% of survey respondents across the country say they plan to travel for leisure this year. This is about the same as a normal year. 2021 Industry Report..

Jason Fulvi, President and CEO of VisitKC, said: “Why don’t you take a vacation? We all want to go somewhere, so the disgusting demand is real.”

Also, “staycations” are on the rise, with locals moving out of their year-long homes. All the demand for an enjoyable trip means that weekend rooms may be less than weekdays.

“People want to have memories and experiences. Even in the local area, leaving home on weekends and coming to the hotel to enjoy what Kansas City offers is something people have been enthusiastic about,” Morwinkle said. Said.

Due to the increase in telecommuting, business trips are delayed in returning home. Mr Furubi said business trips may not return to pre-pandemic levels until near 2024, although they appear to be on the rise.

The convention also plays a major role in the hotel business in Kansas City. Mr. Furubi said attendance at the convention is likely to be in 2023 before returning to its original location.

Kurt Mayo, Executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Hotel and Lodges Association, said: “We have lost so many habits … and that really hurt us.”

But things are looking for events like weddings and family reunions.

“Weddings have been very successful,” said Philip Strnad, general manager of. Hilton President Downtown.. “Many people postponed their wedding in 2021, so we are always having a wedding, and things are much better.”

The biggest challenge facing the hotel industry today is the surplus of job openings.

“As a hotelier, you want to provide your guests with the best possible service, and without the right number of staff, the service can be a bit painful,” said the general manager. One Kate Higgins said. Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel. “Now the travel industry is back. We’ll be back soon. But as an industry, as a hotel, we can’t make up for it with our staff so far.”

Despite the challenges, the hotel is working to bring operations and bookings back to their pre-COVID-19 state.

“The industry has a long way to go before us and we are very optimistic about what is ahead,” Morwinkle said.

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