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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Jonesboro A&P Commission sees increase in tourism, hotel occupancy

JONESBORO, Ark Summer vacation is right around the corner and, the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Committee is preparing as Covid-19 mandates are lifted.

The Jonesboro A&P commission is seeing a sharp increase in tourism already compared to last fall and spring 2020.

Numbers they say are getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

“What we have seen was really the last two months we’ve seen a huge uptick with everything that’s open up so, we’re excited about that,” says Jerry Morgan, chairman of the A&P Commission. “We’re seeing occupancy rates at hotels going back to pre-pandemic levels of where we’re hitting close to sixty and sixty-five percent on the weekends.”

Morgan says hotel occupancy started strong in January 2020 and flatlined during March and April as occupancy dropped to 30%.

He credits Covid-19 mandates ending for the steady increase.

Paving the way for attractions like regional and statewide sporting events and graduations to take place.

The Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center are also starting to see small groups and leisure travelers flood back to Jonesboro.

“We’re seeing a huge increase from last May thankfully,” said Kraig Pomrenke, general manager of the hotel and convention center. “We saw the worst of it in April and May of last year because people we’re not traveling and, there were certainly no groups or conventions to speak of. And everyone was pretty much staying home. This year's business has probably tripped what we had last May. And it continues to improve.”

Pomrenke says they are taking extra precautions inside the hotel to make sure guests are comfortable during their stay.

”We go through and wipe them all down, even more so than they have been. We seal off every door so guests are very comfortable when they walk up and see a sealed door because they know nobodies been in the room since. We offer limited housekeeping services. If they don’t want us in the room, we won’t go in. If they want us in, we’ll go in there while they’re not there,” he says.

Morgan says it’s exciting to get people back to town as the city has several attractions and sporting events taking place over the next few months.

Which will also help boost our local economy.


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