POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - A couple weeks WTOC told you Pooler businesses were now starting to rebound following a tough start to the year due to the pandemic.
But can the same be said for the hotel industry?
“They have taken a hit,” said Pam Southard, the Executive Director for Greater Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce.
Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise.
The pandemic keeping tourists away and cancelling or postponing big events like St. Patrick’s Day and Taste of Pooler.
Taking a chunk of money out of both local hotels and the Chamber’s bottom line.
“We can tell because the Chamber benefits from a portion, of the hotel/motel tax from the city and we can see a difference in that amount,” said Southard.
But despite a rough stretch for the hotel industry it appears things are again looking up.
“The hotels did take a hit, but now as you’re driving along past some of the hotels you see more cars in the parking lot. I see people walking to the shops and restaurants, so, it’s a win-win situation for us,” Southard says.
In fact, according to Southard the amount they received from the hotel/motel tax in August was nearly double what it was when the pandemic first began.
Plus, the Holiday Inn & Suites in Pooler reported 75 percent occupancy last month as well.
Perhaps a good sign for developers and continued growth in Pooler.
“Obviously there’s a vision and a hope that it’s going to continue because we’re building more and more hotels in Pooler,” Southard says.
While it hasn’t been the year anyone anticipated Southard remains confident that Pooler is built to survive.
“Pooler is strong. I’ve said it before, we’ll get through this. We just have to fight a little harder. We’re going to make it up, we’re going to be better, we’re going to be stronger. We just move forward.”