Savannah Hotels Seeing Slow Sales for Saint Patrick's Day - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah Hotels Seeing Slow Sales for Saint Patrick's Day

This year, hotels have not booked in Savannah the way that they usually do for Saint Patrick's Day. This year, hotels have not booked in Savannah the way that they usually do for Saint Patrick's Day.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Saint Patrick's Day can often seem like Christmas Eve for local businesses with one exception this year.

There's plenty of room at the inn. Most of them actually.

Either because the parade falls on an unusual date this year or because people are watching their spending, hotels have not booked in Savannah the way that they usually do for Saint Patrick's Day.

"It's slower this year,'' said Russ Sill, assistant general manager of the Comfort Suites Historic District. "Normally if you've got a holiday on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, we're usually packed. But we still have a little bit of availability. That's pretty much the case at all the hotels I've communicated with.''

And that is hardly ever the case on Savannah's busiest tourism weekend.

But Travelocity.com lists 126 hotels in the Savannah area and less than one-quarter of them are booked for any day this weekend. Only three of the 25 hotels on Expedia.com are filled.

Management at the airport Springhill Suites said they sometimes book for Saint Patrick's Day a year in advance, but still have 25 of their 92 rooms available.

And, with the parade being held on March 14 this year so as not to fall in holy week, some people who did make early plans have changed them.

"We had some cancellations when a lot of people heard the parade was going to be held on Friday rather than St. Patty's day itself,'' said Sill, who estimates he has only 10 rooms remaining for each night Thursday through Saturday, but as many as 25 for Sunday and Monday. "A lot of them backed off.''

The question is whether they and others will be back in.

Will strange timing and a softened economy conspire to cut into the green local hotels rely on at Saint Patrick's Day or with four days and counting, is there still time for a rally?

"We'll fill up,'' said Sill. "I have confidence that what few rooms we have available, we'll fill up with the walk-in-traffic.''.

But is that really confidence or simply hoping?

"No, it's confidence,'' said Sill. "Based on our history at this hotel, we have so many walk-ins we have to turn away. So I'm confident our hotel will fill. I think all the hotels downtown will fill.''

It just might take a parade of walk-ins to do so this Saint Patrick's Day. 

Reported by: Tim Guidera, tguidera@wtoc.com - Read more of Tim's stories here.

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