Local hotels seeing less business than usual this year

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With April coming to a close and May just around the corner, it’s the time of year to start planning trips and booking a hotel room. But if you walk into any local hotel, you’ll likely find an abundance of empty room.

And Hank Phillips, the president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, says the occupancy rates have dropped dramatically. In some cases, hotels are only seeing single-digit occupancy rates.
For South Central Kentucky, having a major interstate and construction projects with out of town construction workers has provided some insulation.
Still, with basketball tournaments being cancelled and the temporary closure of the National Corvette Museum, hospitality can’t help but take a hit.
Andy Vanmali, of Three Springs Hospitality, the operator of Holiday Inn Express, Home 2 Suites and other brands in Bowling Green, says he’s had to make the painful decision to furlough employees.
The cratering of the hospitality industry comes on the heels of a flat year for hotels. But with the economy slowly reopening, hotel operators hope they factor into the new normal.