Tracy Kimberlin, President/CEO of the Springfield CVB Tracy Kimberlin, President/CEO of the Springfield CVB

The Convention & Visitors Bureau staff is closely watching the impact of the COVID-19 virus on local businesses and we want to assure you we’re not sitting idly by.

It was impractical to continue with marketing campaigns that began earlier this year or were scheduled to begin soon so we have canceled and postponed ad placements on television, online and in print media. That being said, rest assured we are already working on campaigns to encourage travel to the city that we can launch when the recovery begins.

We’re also trying to get a handle on just how bad the local hospitality industry is being hit by this crisis. Restaurants, retailers, attractions and hotels are all losing business; we just don’t know how much. People are getting laid off; we just don’t know how many. All we know for sure is it’s bad.

Here are the latest statistics from Smith Travel Research.

Week of March 1-7

  • Occupancy % - Down 16.4%
  • Average Daily Rate - Down 5.2%
  • Demand (Occupied Rooms) - Down 13.1%
  • Room Revenue - Down 17.6%

Week of March 8-14

  • Occupancy % - Down 27.8%
  • Average Daily Rate - Down 11.1%
  • Demand (Occupied Rooms) - Down 24.9%
  • Room Revenue - Down 33.2%

As you can see, the second week of March was nearly twice as bad as the first week. The third week will be even worse.

A rough estimate is our hotels have lost more than 23,000 room nights due to losing at least 47 groups. We know there are many more and are asking hoteliers to share information with us about lost group business so we can get a better picture of the situation.

We know you’re struggling and we want you to know we are doing everything we can to mitigate the situation. With an ordinance in place prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, there’s not much we can do right now but you can bet that when people are allowed to gather in groups again, we will hit the ground running and do our best to get the hospitality industry back on its feet.

This situation is fluid and in order to help you make smart business decisions, we’ll keep you updated in the coming days on what we’re doing, how we’re changing our budget so we can spend more on marketing, lost group business, predictions on how long it will take before recovery begins, etc.

Last, but not least, the CVB offices will be closed until further notice to help prevent the spread of the virus. We are, however, working from home and have access to our phones, email, etc.

If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please reach out to us and we’ll respond as quickly as we can. You can call 417-881-5300 or 800-678-8767 or send an email to Susan Wade at A staff directory also is available.