Chamber Business News

Arizona cities experiencing tourism growth, impacting lodging industry

Arizona’s tourism industry is rising, and the state’s lodging facilities are growing along with it.

With its trendy restaurants, luxurious resorts and seemingly endless activities, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Arizona lodging saw a 6.4 percent increase in tourism-related gross sales from June 2017 to June 2018, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) Monthly Gross Sales & Tourism Taxes Report.

The state’s lodging industry is developing in response to the tourism increase.

The AOT report also stated Arizona lodging experienced an 8.6 increase in gross sales from June 2017 to June 2018.

A prime example of the growth in the state’s tourism is Mesa, which had 1.1 million overnight visitors in 2016.

“In terms of hotel development, Mesa has all the major brands that our surrounding communities offer,” Michelle Streeter, Visit Mesa vice president, communications & partner relations, said. “This really puts us in a competitive advantage because we do have signature Marriott properties, we have a beautiful four-star Hilton, we also have the hotel development that’s now been announced for the east side of Mesa closer to where Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport is.”

Streeter explained that Mesa’s newest property is Courtyard Marriott Gateway and there are two more hotel openings forthcoming. A Residence Inn is set to open toward the end of 2018 and a Home2 Suites by Hilton is set to open in 2019.

Streeter said Mesa is in demand in terms of hospitality because “we are surpassing occupancy because we don’t have enough hotel rooms to meet the demand, so that’s why we’re excited that we’re getting this new hotel product and new hotel inventory to fill.”

In addition to upcoming hotel development, one Mesa hotel recently underwent rebranding. The Marriott Phoenix Mesa recently became Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa.

“The Phoenix tourism market as a whole has been steadily trending upward since 2012, and we have definitely experienced positive growth in both occupancy and revenues here in Mesa,” Robert Pottberg, Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa general manager, said.

He noted that Mesa’s lodging industry isn’t the only the only one to benefit from the tourism growth.

“It’s exciting the see this steady growth not only impacting area hotels, but the nearby restaurants and shops as well,” Pottberg said. “When our rooms are full, our guests want to venture out and patronize our neighbors meaning the economic influence trickles down to the entire surrounding area.”

According to AOT’s report, restaurant/bar, retail and amusement gross sales experienced an average 6.07 percent increase from June 2017 to June 2018.  

Mesa’s newly rebranded hotel will be the first Delta Hotel in Arizona.

Pottberg said, “We have been a part of the Marriott family for a while, however as we assume our new identity as a Delta Hotel next month, we hope to attract brand loyalists who will be excited to see the first Delta Hotel in Arizona and bring even more energy and business to our great neighborhood.”

Sierra Ciaramella

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