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Local lodging industry beginning recovery

December 4th, 2012 - 6:30am

(Port Angeles) -- Local lodging executives discussed the state of the lodging industry in the Port Angeles area yesterday.

Tammy Oxentenko of Western Inns, Paula Beck from Aramark Industries, and Joseph Mollerus from Red Lion say the occupancy news is good this year.

"2012 is up two percent over 2011, but the historical levels that we saw 2005-2008 have not returned as of yet," said Mollerus.

Mollerus said special events, such as the Crabfest, and the North Olympic Discovery Marathon, especially benefit the area:

"It's a win-win for all. Where those events need to be scheduled is in the shoulder season. In summer time, where we're running 90-95 percent occupancy, those events don't bring in anything additional. But in the shoulder season they're a big help," said Mollerus.

Taking a wider approach to the tourism and hospitality industry here on the Peninsula was Paula Beck, Director of Sales and Marketing for Aramark Parks and Destinations, for the Olympic Peninsula. Aramark operates a number of properties on National Park and Forest lands around the Peninsula.

"We track national and local trends. What we find is that national level park attendance doesn't dictate the local numbers. In 2011 nationally, park visitation was down by four percent. In the same year, Olympic Peninsula had about six percent higher attendance," said Beck.

Beck said that in 2012, while attendance at the local level was down, attendance at the parks' lodges was up, so one does not necessarily dictate the other when Aramark is planning its marketing strategies. The three spoke to the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

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