San Diego hospitality industry optimistic for summer

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SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) — San Diego hotel and motel owners are optimistic about the summer travel season.

The boardwalk was busy Monday at Pacific Beach.

Kenzie Delehanty and Morgan Wilson visit San Diego from Oklahoma.

“We’re trying to make the most of it because the pandemic has made us realize that we have to take advantage of the time we have for free, that’s why we’re here, we’re trying to make the most of it,” Delehanty says. .

However, not everyone is ready to travel. The Ocean Park Inn has been a boardwalk staple for thirty years. The owner of the family hotel says they are still not full.

“Usually for the summer, like 4th of July, we’ve booked a year. At the moment we’re not fully booked for 4th of July yet. So it’s interesting to see that people are still wary of going out,” said said Chairman and CEO Elvin Lai.

Lai says people are still booking seven days, but the industry is progressing.

“As the summer rolls on, we’re actually seeing people booking all summer and we’re actually starting to see bookings coming in for next year, which is the best sign,” Lai said.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association says occupancy is expected to continue to rise from historic lows in 2020. At the height of the pandemic, occupancy was down to 44%. This year, it averages around 63%, still down from pre-pandemic levels.

“We definitely see a recovery in the future, maybe 24 is a good time to recover, that’s what everyone thinks, but we’re still recovering, we’re definitely not recovered,” he said. Lai said.

He says his hostel is recovering from a five million dollar deficit after being closed for seven months.

“When you shut down a hotel, there’s actually a cost to shut down, and then when you turn things back on, things tend to break,” Lai said.

The Inn was closed last Memorial Day weekend.

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