Springfield’s hospitality industry began showing signs of life during the first week stay-at-home orders were lifted in Missouri. Though gatherings of large groups of people are still prohibited in Springfield and Greene County, people are beginning to travel again, pushing hotel occupancy for May 3-9 to 31.3 percent, a 53.5 percent decline over the same period last year. Average daily rate also increased to $63.86, a decline of 28.2 percent over last year, demand was at 13,507, down 51.6 percent and revenue was at $862,563, down 65.2 percent. While those stats don’t compare well to last year, they are an improvement over recent weeks and the second week in a row of improvement.

We’re also seeing restaurants expanding services, breweries are open again and attractions are beginning to reopen. In the next few days, Dickerson Park Zoo, the History Museum on the Square, Itty Bitty City, city parks and others are reopening with more sure to follow soon.

That doesn’t mean the leisure and hospitality industry will return to its previous luster soon. Group restrictions remain in place, which means the city won’t see the revenue from conventions, meetings and amateur sporting events returning soon. Many of the groups that had to cancel events are looking at rebooking for later in the year and the Convention & Visitors Bureau is working hard to help the event planners make that happen.

Those groups and other visitors play an important role in keeping the region’s economy strong. We hope the hotel statistics continue their upward climb and you can rest assured the staff at CVB is doing everything we can to keep that trend going in the right direction.