KING 5: Seattle’s hotel industry is on the rebound, with occupancy nearing 2019 levels

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This story was originally published by KING 5 on Aug. 25, 2022

SEATTLE — New data from the Downtown Seattle Association shows downtown hotels are making a major comeback, with some closing in on pre-pandemic occupancy levels right now.

“We went from being one of the bottom five in the country to the top five,” said Craig Schafer, the owner of Hotel Andra located in downtown Seattle on the corner of Fourth and Virginia.

Schafer said the past three years have been difficult for the hospitality industry, but Schafer said they’ve taken a step forward in the last couple months.

“It went from devastating and dark, to reemerging this spring and summer, beyond a lot of people’s expectations,” said Schafer.

According to a new report from the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), downtown welcomed more than 2.9 million visitors last month, which is the highest total since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also shows demand for hotel rooms is the highest it’s been since 2019. With demand for hotel rooms downtown last month reaching 94% of 2019 levels and 96% in June.

“It’s refreshing compared to the last two years and we still have a ways to go,” said Schafer

Schafer acknowledges the numbers may take a slight step back as we enter fall. But he’s still grateful for the strides the industry has made to get back on its feet and is optimistic tourism will see another boost with companies beginning to travel and conventions reconvening in downtown.

“It’s up and up, we’ll go through the year and just hope that we don’t have any setbacks,” said Schafer.

The DSA report also pointed out that hotel revenue on Saturday, July 16 was the third-highest revenue day in Seattle’s history at $4.3 million.