About a week away from the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, hotel rooms are increasingly scarce near the Interstate 35-Second Street interchange.
Thursday afternoon, Courtney Gray, general manager at the nearby Edmond Hampton Inn, said only about 10 of her 71 rooms remain available during the peak days of the July 7-13 event period. She said other hotels in the area are reporting similar rates.
“It’s wonderful,” said Gray, who has been in her position for 13 years. “We’re getting lots of phone calls. We are so excited the Senior Open is coming back to Edmond.”
Gray said some of her guests are coming from out west, states including California, Utah and Arizona. Her only disappointment, she said, is that many are staying about three nights, mostly Friday through Sunday, instead of the entire week.
More than 120,000 spectators — the current projection on the event website — are expected to attend the USGA’s U.S. Senior Open, and event staff anticipate an economic impact of more than $15 million to the Edmond and Oklahoma City economies.
While they’re here, visitors will choose where to eat, where to fill up their gasoline tanks and where to stay overnight, and the Edmond area offers many outstanding hotel options.
Cathy Williams-White, director of the Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the city’s hotel-motel sector will experience a significant boost from the tournament, which comes on the heels of LibertyFest, which draws more than 125,000 each year to the city.
Williams-White said the bureau will have a booth near the main tournament entrance, where staff will be handing out information about places to stay and eat in Edmond.
Local hotels also are competing with full-service options in Oklahoma City such as the Waterford and the Marriott, Williams-White said. Gray said the Edmond Hampton Inn offers guests amenities including excellent service, a warm breakfast, a free newspaper and free Wi-Fi and an indoor pool.
Edmond benefits from the hotel-motel sector through a lodging tax. Williams-White said Edmond hotels and motels are normally pretty busy this time of year with all the events in the area.
The Edmond Economic Development Authority publishes a hotel barometer, which tracks data such as gross receipts, lodging tax collected, number of nights sold, occupancy rate and revenue per available room. Lodging tax collections are based on a 4 percent lodging tax rate.
For example, in May 2013, when the tax collected $36,046, there were 14,140 room nights sold, 22,010 room nights available, an 81.87 percent occupancy rate, an average daily rate of $51.01 and revenue per available room of $41.76, according to the EEDA.
In May 2014, when the tax collected more than $39,012, there were 14,583 room nights sold, 22,010 room nights available, a 66.26 percent occupancy rate, an average daily rate of $68.09 and revenue per available room of $45.11.
Williams-White said the economic impact for Edmond’s hotel-motel sector is part of the $15 million-plus projection.
FOR SENIOR OPEN visitors still needing overnight accommodations, the Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a “find a hotel” search engine on its website — www.visitedmondok.com. For more information about the Senior Open, visit www.2014ussenioropen.com.