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.”

Earlier this month, The Dayton’s Project unveiled the first of several installations in the Dayton’s skyways. The whole development is on schedule to open this spring and will include retail shopping and direct access to the food hall on the lower level.  

 

CWT was recently awarded a $450,000 grant by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, one of only six Minnesota companies selected this year.

The grant comes from the Job Creation Fund, which targets companies that are creating high-paying jobs in the state, while making the needed capital investments to support that growth. CWT is aiming to recruit 75 people over the next three years. It’s currently renovating its leased spaces at 701 Carlson Parkway to make way for the new hires.

 

The Minnesota State Fair is essentially a red carpet event for Minnesotans. That is, if red carpet events include food that is either fried, on a stick, or both. To celebrate the great love that Minnesotans have for their state, Radisson Blu Mall of America is offering state fair-themed meetings.