The coronavirus pandemic is expected to cost the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau between $50,000 and $55,000 in lost revenue from its 3% tax on hotel room rentals.
Mark Calitri, president of the CVB, made that prediction Friday during a teleconference with his board of directors.
He said he expects hotel revenues here to fall by 50% this month and 65% in April.
But the CVB gets its money from the tax two months late, Calitri said.
So, the office won’t see the revenue drop until May and June, he said.
“Hotels are definitely feeling the effect of this,” Calitri said. “February and the first week of March were really good. And then, the bottom fell out.”
Both Hampton Inns in Owensboro closed Thursday until the pandemic is over.
But other hotels are still open, Calitri said, and people are still coming to town.
He said the CVB staff is creating plans for a 30-day sprint once businesses reopen, “so we can come out faster” than other CVBs.
The staff is working on rebooking the meetings, conventions and events that are being canceled this spring, Calitri said.
He said the CVB has suspended all marketing during the pandemic, conferences staffers would have been attending have been canceled, the Visitor Information Center is closed and the utilities have been turned down to save money.
Calitri said he expects sporting events to recover quickly when the virus is under control.
He said the staff is continuing to bid on events for next year and beyond.
“This is a crappy time,” Calitri said. “But we’ll get through it.”
Dave Kirk, the CVB’s destination management director, said Owensboro is a “drive market,” meaning that most visitors drive from two to three hours away.
“People are itching to get out again,” he said.
Calitri said, “We’re ready to spring when this thing ends.”
Visit Owensboro is the official destination marketing organization for Owensboro and Daviess County Kentucky. www.visitowensboro.com Mark Calitri serves as President/CEO.
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