Downtown Savannah hotel occupancy through festival weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Downtown Savannah hotel occupancy through festival weekend

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Although the St. Patrick's Day parade is over, festivities in Savannah continue through the weekend.

When we checked with downtown hotels earlier this week, we learned there were still rooms available. Friday, they're telling us that's still the case.

The hospitality industry in Savannah and surrounding cities is finding that because St. Patrick's Day fell on a Thursday this year, the long weekend creates a two-weekend feel, meaning two waves of guests.

And those waves of visitors have more options than ever when deciding where to stay.

"So there's more hotel inventory available. But the reality of it is, we always have some rooms available. People like to use the term, is the city sold out?” said Visit Savannah President Joe Marinelli.

Marinelli says all of Savannah's hotel rooms are never completely sold out, and adds that the St. Patrick's Day Festival doesn't stand out as much as it used to in terms of large numbers of rooms being booked.

"St. Patrick's Day used to be the standout. And now it's just one weekend of a very busy season,” said Marinelli.

So to compete with lower rates and shuttle services travelers might be able to find in outlying cities, like Pooler and Richmond Hill, hotels along River Street and Bay Street are making rates more competitive for a room right in the action.

"This year with room occupancy being not as busy as it was last year, we actually do call around to all the hotels downtown in the Historic District, they're saying the same thing. We have about 20 rooms open, and we actually just dropped our rate down to 239 a night,” said The Cotton Sail Hotel Assistant General Manager Shannon Loving.

The Brice Hotel just down Bay Street is boasting a weekend special of rates as low as $149 a night for the rest of the holiday weekend, for a limited time.

Visitors who want a little more room are also looking into Savannah's vacation rentals.

"A lot of them are families that may be looking for a full kitchen, things they just can't get out of a hotel room. So there's a little bit of competition, but not so much. We actually help each other out,” said Stay Savannah Vacation Rentals Owner Gina Stone.

Several of the hotel managers say they anticipate filling those empty rooms before the weekends over, they're just hoping the weather cooperates.

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