Sports events and large conventions drive hotel occupancy in Richmond

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Sporting events and large conventions helped boost occupancy at Richmond area hotels last year.The Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB) said that Richmond Strikers Jefferson Cup Soccer, NASCAR races and several large conventions topped the list of major events driving strong hotel occupancy periods in the region during 2011.

RMCVB commissioned the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research to analyze hotel occupancy data against event and convention dates.  “This hotel occupancy analysis confirms that sports and conventions help bolster transient corporate and leisure hotel stays to maintain healthy occupancy levels throughout the year, even in a down economy,” RMCVB President and CEO Jack Berry said in a statement. 

Richmond Strikers Jefferson Cup Soccer tournaments took the top spot during the weekend of March 18-19, 2011. The tournaments filled hotels to near capacity.  NASCAR weekends in April and September, basketball and volleyball tournaments in May and the SunTrust Richmond Marathon in November contributed to hotel occupancy levels with each weekend exceeding 80 percent.

Association and religion-based conventions rounded out the top of the list of occupancy drivers. Even the weather played a role. Hurricane Irene evacuations contributed to the occupancy boost over Labor Day weekend.


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