Our Business Picture Is Brighter Moving Forward
Gordon Snyder, 2010 Chair
Last year, I reported that while we expected 2010 to be challenging, it appeared that the
darkest days of our deep recession could be behind us. I'm pleased to report this year
that although high unemployment continued to be a drag on the economy, 2010 actually
was a better year for Northern Kentucky's hospitality industry than we initially expected.
Hotel demand and occupancy rates, as well as total visitor spending in Northern Kentucky,
increased for the first time in three years. Hotel demand was up a robust 8.6%, outpacing
demand in the U.S., Kentucky, Ohio and Cincinnati. Our hotel occupancy grew 4.5% even
though our supply increased at almost twice the national average with two new hotels
opening. Total visitor spending in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties was up 7% as
more people traveled to Northern Kentucky for both business and pleasure. But, despite
these gains, a still sluggish economy and highly rate-sensitive travelers kept our hotels'
Average Daily Rate (ADR) flat.
Bureau Strategic Initiatives
The recession forced us to narrow our focus on high-yield markets in recent years, and
that strategy has proven to be successful as our group business in markets such as sports
and religious events enjoyed a strong year in 2010. In fact, $11.93 was returned to the
community for every dollar spent by the Bureau in 2010, a 5.8% increase over economic
impact in 2009. Moving forward, we will continue to carefully analyze the constantly evolving
marketplace to ensure that our focus remains on areas that hold the most promise.
We also will continue to promote the "Are You the Next Big Attraction?" program that we
introduced in 2010 as a way to identify group business sales leads from the community.
The highly successful program produced almost $1.7 million in bookings generated directly
from leads given to us by local citizens.
Additionally, we're unveiling new initiatives in 2011 to build on 2010's momentum. Our new
"Getting Things Done at the Speed of Business" program will ensure that our first response
to customers is not voice mail by making our sales staff accessible 24/7 with regular
weekend office hours and other measures. We also are partnering with the Northern
Kentucky Convention Center to own and operate a new trade show that will generate hotel
room nights during a traditionally slow period late in the year.
Recent years were trying, but we believe the Bureau has emerged as a stronger and more
nimble organization that can adapt quickly to changing market conditions. With an improving
economy and a superior meetings package located in the heart of America, I'm more
confident than ever that we are positioned for continued growth. We pledge to our
stakeholders to be an effective and efficient sales organization that will make decisions
based on sound business principles while keeping costs in line with the assets trusted to us.