County Sets Records for Room Sales
Moore County's lodging industry recorded its highest total room sales ever in 2007, surpassing the mark set in 2005 when the U.S. Open Championship was last held in Pinehurst.
On a month-to-month basis, records were also set for six of 12 months last year for total lodging revenue generated, according to the area's Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).
Moore County currently ranks 11th in the state out of 100 counties for total tourism revenues generated.
Driving these new records for the county were increases in demand (total room nights sold) and the average daily rate of occupied rooms (ADR). The area also experienced modest growth in the total number of rooms available, bringing the total for the county to 2,740 rooms among 42 lodging establishments.
Forty-three percent of these rooms are classified as full-service properties, while 57 percent are rooms only (no restaurants or meetings space).
Large events held during the summer months such as the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships and the North Carolina Tennis Association's League Championships helped boost these totals.
Percentage growth totals for the county for 2007 were:
Lodging room sales, up 8.3 percent.
Lodging demand, up 2 percent.
Lodging supply, up 1.2 percent.
Lodging ADR, up 3.2 percent.
"We could argue that Moore County has the most diversified lodging product in North Carolina, ranging from four-star, amenity-filled resorts to limited service properties, to a variety of villas/condos offerings." said CVB President Caleb Miles. "Providing a standard barometer of the lodging industry is challenging, as one sector can be performing quite well, while another sector is flat, but the overall numbers still show growth."
Adding to that challenge is the growing number of new lodging rooms being added to the area's inventory.
By the end of this year, the area is expected to have more than 3,000 hotel rooms, representing a 20 percent increase over the past five years, according to a news release from the CVB.
Miles pointed out that because the industry operates 365 days a year, 100 new lodging rooms added to the supply requires an additional 20,000 room nights sold to keep pace with the area's existing lodging performance numbers.
"While our view is focused on the overall performance of the industry, we understand that each lodging segment is driven by different factors, and all these must be considered as we further develop the destination brand and the marketing tactics for the county," Miles said. "As gratifying as it is to report favorable statistics, the CVB realizes as the area grows, changes in the local tourism industry are necessary to effectively compete in the marketplace. To address these destination marketing shifts, new strategies must be employed to generate visitation during lower demand periods, keep building group business, and diversify the leisure traveler base beyond the area's primary driver -- golf."
The Convention & Visitors Bureau for Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area is an economic development organization. Its mission is to promote the area as a destination for visitors, meetings, conventions and tours, and is funded primarily by a 3 percent hotel/motel room occupancy tax paid by visitors to Moore County.
David Sinclair can be reached at 693-2462 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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