Encore! That’s the cry from uptown hotels and other local tourism executives after Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte staged eight major concerts during a one-year period beginning in September 2021 and extending through Elton John’s appearance last month. The results: Uptown hotel sales went up 40% on those nights while rates surged 26% compared with six-month averages.
Such increases are more impressive when viewed in the context of surging growth in leisure travel in Charlotte during the past several years. Leisure travel hotel revenue here is forecast to grow 28.8% this year over 2019, the most recent full non-pandemic year, according to industry analyst Kalibri Labs. That’s double the 14% leisure gain anticipated nationwide by the end of 2022.
Concerts and anything else that boosts leisure travel has become even more important for Charlotte and other cities because corporate travel has yet to fully recover. Corporate travel for decades dominated hospitality business here, but that has shifted.
“Venues are our beach and venues are our mountains,” Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance CEO Mohammad Jenatian told CBJ, pointing to the importance of the NFL stadium and NBA arena to lure travelers. “Every concert at Bank of America Stadium has been a major driver for our hotels.”
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(WATCH BELOW: Police: 21-year-old facing charges for shooting during concert at Livingstone College)