JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The hotel business in region 8 has been struggling with vacancies. More and more people are choosing not to travel, but more and more hotels are popping up. "We go around and count cars in the parking lot and we look and see you know how well the other hotels are doing," says Doris Hannah, general manager the Hampton Inn. She says their average cliental is business professionals, and the majority of their books are Monday through Wednesday, "Thursday through the weekend it falls off, and we literally have no business. There are not many transit visitors just passing through. It's just mainly our corporate corporations that are coming here."
More hotels continue to build. The news addition is the upcoming Candlewood Hotel. It is still under construction. They will have seventy-five rooms, which is taking more business from the already large number of hotels, "it has affected our business it slowed it down a lot in the last three or four months."
With the competition, Hannah says they have had to look into ways to entice travelers, "it's just now starting to pick back up. We've lowered our prices a little bit "
"There's nothing to do in here in Jonesboro no entertainment to bring them here." says Hannah.
"We recognize the fact that we need to become a more destination location," says Gary Harpole, Operations Director for the City of Jonesboro. He says the city has actively been engaging in ways to increase growth, "increasing the number of youth sports tournaments. This summer we probably up 10 or 12 tournaments. And we're getting more aggressive to try and bring those in because they do bring a large number of people in on the weekends."
If the hotels are able to bring business, the tourism would bring money to the city, "Anytime that we can create an opportunity for people to come here and spend money with our locate retailers it's a great thing for the over-all economy."