Center City Philadelphia is experience a stellar 2015 with its leisure tourism occupancy.

The first six months of the year, hotels have sold 416,000 room nights for leisure travelers—a 3.8 percent from the first half of 2014. And with the pope’s visit in September on the horizon, the area will hopefully result in a leisurely record year.

“Leisure has been a consistent producer for Philadelphia over the past two decades,” says Meryl Levitz, president/CEO, Visit Philadelphia. “These 2015 results prove that leisure travelers come here all year long—not just for events—because it’s always a good time to visit. Philadelphia has become a destination.”

Average daily rates for the three major segments also are up. Commercial increased 9 percent to $197 over the same time last year, group increased 5.5 percent to $186 and leisure increased 5 percent to $172.

Peter Tyson of PKF Consulting—a hospitality consulting and research form—expects area hotels to beat last year’s record for both leisure occupancy and overall occupancy. July through October typically yield the most visitors, and the pope’s visit is sure to be a boost to occupancy rates.

“The highest demand period for leisure in Center City typically has been the second half of the year,” says Tyson. “If that trend continues in 2015—and we expect that it will—leisure will break records again this year.”

 

Los Angeles has such a robust food and dining scene, it’s rare to be the first at anything these days. But Benny Boy Brewing  appears to have pulled that off with its claim to be the city’s first combined brewery and cidery. Located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, just minutes from downtown, Benny Boy is anchored by a spacious outdoor beer and cider garden. Groups are welcome. The 1,200-square-foot cider house is available for private events of up to 51 guests while a full venue buyout accommodates 300. 

 

If you’re considering Santa Barbara as a destination for an upcoming meeting, there are more hotels and restaurants than ever before, along with new flights into Santa Barbara Airport.

Here are some highlights. 

Hotel News

Palihouse Santa Barbara, a 24-room boutique hotel in the historic Presidio neighborhood has opened. Offering a “vintage preppy meets American Riviera vibe,” total group buyouts are available, as well as outdoor entertaining space for intimate events.

 

By a number of measures, hotels are doing well in San Francisco.  For starters, occupancy rates, according to preliminary data, were 67.2% for the month of April, with average daily room rates just above $225. As the San Francisco Travel Association notes, those numbers point to the best-performing month for San Francisco hotels since pandemic restrictions were put in place in March 2020.