By Darryl Leggieri
As we say farewell to 2022, we can reflect on what a great year it was for leisure travel and in the meetings industry.
Leisure travel was anchored by many of our major attractions and cultural institutions, such as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Live Nation, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Universal Preservation Hall, Caffe Lena, National Museum of Racing, and the historic Saratoga Race Course. The track’s summer meet eclipsed one million in paid attendance for the seventh consecutive year.
As for meetings and events, the return of business was swift. Not even rising costs, staffing shortages and a possible recession changed meeting planner confidence. While we are still below pre-pandemic booking levels, we saw that our leads and bookings volume were on the rise.
When we look at the numbers for our lodging partners, there was much to celebrate. Through November of 2022 year to year, Saratoga County saw steady growth over 2021. Over the previous 12 months, demand increased by 14.8 percent, occupancy was up 12.9 percent, average daily rate was up 11 percent, and revenue per available room was up 25.3 percent. Since group business is not entirely back, leisure business literally saved the day.
The occupancy and average daily rate that our lodging partners were able to command shows a strong return to business, and breaking records for revenue in many cases.