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HomeNewsArchivesBusy Easter Weekend Bodes Well for Summer Hotel Occupancy

Busy Easter Weekend Bodes Well for Summer Hotel Occupancy

April 9, 2007 — The Easter bunny brought more than colored eggs to hoteliers across the Virgin Islands.
"We're full," said Vicki Locke at the Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix.
Families that return year after year for a stay at the Buccaneer made up the bulk of the visitors, she said, noting that many are multi-generational families who spend about five nights at the hotel on their Easter vacations.
The Easter bunny visited and the hotel had an Easter-egg hunt for youthful guests, Locke said. Additionally, she said, the dining room offered a special Easter menu.
Locke's remarks echoed those of other hotel managers and owners around the territory. Many reported full or high occupancy rates for the Easter weekend, and the picture looks bright for the upcoming few months for both large and small properties.
Hovensa plans a project using off-island workers, so all of St. Croix's hotels will benefit, Locke said. Additionally, she said rooms will get filled by visitors arriving for the St. Croix Triathlon, weddings, honeymoons and family vacations.
Luana Wheatley, marketing manager at the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association, agreed that the picture looks bright. For April, she said, hotels reported occupancy rates upwards of 70 percent.
"There are some 90s and a lot of 80s," Wheatley said.
While she couldn't give the details, she said an upcoming summer promotion should also help fill rooms. Families and Europeans who come for longer stays tend to book early, Wheatley said, but the territory also sees a lot of last-minute bookings that fill rooms and boost occupancy rates.
The fact that U.S. citizens traveling to and from the Virgin Islands don't need passports has helped, said Joel Kling, manager at St. Thomas' Emerald Beach and Carib Beach hotels, both Best Western properties. He also predicted that recent extremely cold weather across the country will convince people they need a tropical vacation.
Over the Easter weekend, Emerald Beach had an occupancy rate in the 90s, with Carib Beach running above 80 percent, Kling said.
At the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa on St. Thomas, executive assistant Judi Bryant said the hotel was filled for Easter, and its Easter brunch attracted about 450 guests. However, she said, most were local residents.
The occupancy rate looks good through May, Bryant said.
"Several days are sold out, and a few are oversold," she said. While the occupancy rate for June isn't as high as the previous month, she expects that last-minute bookings will fill in the gaps.
Lauren Morrisette, who owns Estate Lindholm on St. John, said the 10-room property is filled through June 23.
"It's booking up for next year — for Christmas and New Year's — with a lot of repeat customers," she said. A lot of Estate Lindholm's guests book after seeing mention of the property on Trip Advisor, a website where people write their opinions and experiences about hotels around the globe.
Word of mouth also sends a lot of guests to Estate Lindholm, Morrisette said.
Lisa Durgin, who manages about 15 vacation villas through her Vacation Vistas company, said all her villas filled up for Easter.
"I don't have a single day open this month," said the St. John-based Durgin.
April is as busy as Christmas for her villas, she said. However, she noted that her rates drop April 1 while most properties lower rates on April 15, which probably gives her a boost. Summer guests usually stay for about a week compared to the 10 days to two weeks for winter guests, Durgin said.
Vacation Vistas has a few openings in May and a few odd days in June. Durgin said she's fairly well booked for the entire summer.
Karen Baranowski, who owns the Windspree vacation-villa management company on St. John, had a similar story. Except for a couple of lower-end houses, she said, she's booked through the end of April.
"And the summer looks great," she said, noting that houses with air conditioning and pools do particularly well during the warmer summer months.
Not everyone had luck with Easter bookings. Claudia Carrington, who owns Carringtons Inn on St. Croix, said she knows her fellow hoteliers had a banner Easter weekend, but her five-room property remained mostly vacant. While the week before Easter was good and the weeks ahead look okay, she had only one room filled for Easter.
"I always have a pretty slow Easter," Carrington said.
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April 9, 2007 -- The Easter bunny brought more than colored eggs to hoteliers across the Virgin Islands.
"We're full," said Vicki Locke at the Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix.
Families that return year after year for a stay at the Buccaneer made up the bulk of the visitors, she said, noting that many are multi-generational families who spend about five nights at the hotel on their Easter vacations.
The Easter bunny visited and the hotel had an Easter-egg hunt for youthful guests, Locke said. Additionally, she said, the dining room offered a special Easter menu.
Locke's remarks echoed those of other hotel managers and owners around the territory. Many reported full or high occupancy rates for the Easter weekend, and the picture looks bright for the upcoming few months for both large and small properties.
Hovensa plans a project using off-island workers, so all of St. Croix's hotels will benefit, Locke said. Additionally, she said rooms will get filled by visitors arriving for the St. Croix Triathlon, weddings, honeymoons and family vacations.
Luana Wheatley, marketing manager at the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association, agreed that the picture looks bright. For April, she said, hotels reported occupancy rates upwards of 70 percent.
"There are some 90s and a lot of 80s," Wheatley said.
While she couldn't give the details, she said an upcoming summer promotion should also help fill rooms. Families and Europeans who come for longer stays tend to book early, Wheatley said, but the territory also sees a lot of last-minute bookings that fill rooms and boost occupancy rates.
The fact that U.S. citizens traveling to and from the Virgin Islands don't need passports has helped, said Joel Kling, manager at St. Thomas' Emerald Beach and Carib Beach hotels, both Best Western properties. He also predicted that recent extremely cold weather across the country will convince people they need a tropical vacation.
Over the Easter weekend, Emerald Beach had an occupancy rate in the 90s, with Carib Beach running above 80 percent, Kling said.
At the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa on St. Thomas, executive assistant Judi Bryant said the hotel was filled for Easter, and its Easter brunch attracted about 450 guests. However, she said, most were local residents.
The occupancy rate looks good through May, Bryant said.
"Several days are sold out, and a few are oversold," she said. While the occupancy rate for June isn't as high as the previous month, she expects that last-minute bookings will fill in the gaps.
Lauren Morrisette, who owns Estate Lindholm on St. John, said the 10-room property is filled through June 23.
"It's booking up for next year -- for Christmas and New Year's -- with a lot of repeat customers," she said. A lot of Estate Lindholm's guests book after seeing mention of the property on Trip Advisor, a website where people write their opinions and experiences about hotels around the globe.
Word of mouth also sends a lot of guests to Estate Lindholm, Morrisette said.
Lisa Durgin, who manages about 15 vacation villas through her Vacation Vistas company, said all her villas filled up for Easter.
"I don't have a single day open this month," said the St. John-based Durgin.
April is as busy as Christmas for her villas, she said. However, she noted that her rates drop April 1 while most properties lower rates on April 15, which probably gives her a boost. Summer guests usually stay for about a week compared to the 10 days to two weeks for winter guests, Durgin said.
Vacation Vistas has a few openings in May and a few odd days in June. Durgin said she's fairly well booked for the entire summer.
Karen Baranowski, who owns the Windspree vacation-villa management company on St. John, had a similar story. Except for a couple of lower-end houses, she said, she's booked through the end of April.
"And the summer looks great," she said, noting that houses with air conditioning and pools do particularly well during the warmer summer months.
Not everyone had luck with Easter bookings. Claudia Carrington, who owns Carringtons Inn on St. Croix, said she knows her fellow hoteliers had a banner Easter weekend, but her five-room property remained mostly vacant. While the week before Easter was good and the weeks ahead look okay, she had only one room filled for Easter.
"I always have a pretty slow Easter," Carrington said.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.