With the events happening around the country in recent days, it’s difficult to be upbeat about travel and tourism, even though we are seeing continued increases in hotel occupancy and revenue in Springfield. We are a diverse nation and the pain caused by racial inequities is real and affects every community - including our city.

Springfield has been actively committed to addressing racial injustices of the past and I have no doubt that our leaders and citizens will continue to work together in moving our city forward with regards to racial equality. I’m proud that members of our community have protested with dignity and without violence. Their voices are being heard and it is my hope that not only are they being heard, but people are also actually listening and seeking to understand - and correct - the racism and inequities that exist in our nation. 

These are unprecedented times and I am looking forward to our economy stabilizing and increased travel is key to doing that. 

For the hotel industry, statistics have slowly improved and May 24-30 was no exception with occupancy reaching 41.8 percent, average daily rate at $68.11, demand at 17,295 and revenue at $1,178,012. Compared to the same period last year, the numbers are still down -- respectively, 29.9 percent, 18.3 percent, 28.5 percent and 41.6% -- but they are a marked improvement since hitting bottom in April at 21.2 percent occupancy.