WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Spring Break is here and in Palm Beach County, that means big business for hotels.
The Canopy Hotel by Hilton got off to a difficult start, opening in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Things are starting to move, yeah,” Jen Garrett said, the lead sales enthusiast at the hotel. “We opened in May which is right in the middle of quarantine, so it was difficult getting our name out there and letting everyone know, hey we are here, and we are open."
According to Palm Beach County’s Tourist Development Council, fiscal year to date hotel room revenues are down 39 percent compared to the same time last year. However, Garrett says they are starting to sell out on some nights.
“Spring break for this market is always a really busy time,” she said.
But many of the guests aren’t traveling too far.
“We’re seeing a lot of people that are coming from more remote and closer areas, Miami, Fort Lauderdale even people that live in West Palm Beach are coming to stay with us,” Garrett said.
On the other side of downtown West Palm Beach, Bernardo Neto the General Manager of the Ben Hotel says they are too are seeing a similar trend.
“Always trying to pay attention to what the guest is telling us and having room service available, expanding menu options, introducing fun offerings,” he said.
Neto says the key to their success is personalization, recently they started a new program where guests can get books delivered right to their room.
“It’s a free book, to read during their stay and if they complete the book before they check out, we donate the book to the Mandel Library in West Palm Beach as well,” he said.
Both Garrett and Neto agree in a pandemic some of the most sought-after amenities are cleanliness and safety.
“They become part of the family and that’s really what we want to promote,” Neto said.