Hospitality sector suffers hard hit - FOX34 Lubbock

Hospitality sector suffers hard hit

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

With Texas Tech and other colleges moving their graduation ceremonies online and countless other events being canceled, the spike of visitors we usually see in May will not happen. 

And in a recent city meeting, Lubbock City Manager, Jarrett Atkinson revealed how reduced the travel to and from Lubbock is. 

"The transportation and the hospitality sector in Lubbock has been hit extremely hard and extremely quickly," Atkinson said. "Outbound traffic at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is running at 10 percent of prior year."

In addition to those numbers, Lubbock County estimates that only 28 percent of its hotels are occupied right now. Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish called this a dramatic low compared to the 78 percent occupied rate last year.

"We're having to make budgetary adjustments as we see that our collections are going to be way down," Parrish said. 

One project that is particularly impacted by the hospitality sector hit is the Expo Center, which relies on hotel and motel tax to fund it.

The building was supposed to be ready in 2021, but Parrish said the official plans for moving forward with it would be made this month.

Car rentals, restaurants and shops are among the many other businesses that rely on visitors, making these trying times even more tough. However, Parrish has high hopes that businesses will return better than ever. 

"Not if, but when this virus does burn itself out and we've gotten the curve completely flattened, I think you're gonna see some businesses rebound," Parrish said. "And I'm hopeful they'll be even stronger."

CEO of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA), John Osborne, continues to put impacted businesses in touch with the Small Business Alliance (SBA) for guidance..

"That is truly the spot that they need to be going to, as well as to their own bankers," Osborne said. "They must make sure they are communicating as much as possible and getting their issues addressed."

Osborne also serves as the president of "Visit Lubbock". And he is trying to promote all the businesses he can via their website (visitlubbock.org.)

"Our business community is doing everything they can to adapt to this way of doing business." Osborne added.

 

 

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