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.”

The Majestic and Empire Theaters downtown San Antonio have announced a variety of upcoming entertainment experiences including theatrical performances, concerts, comedians and other live events.

 

Hotel Vin and Harvest Hall, opening summer 2020, recently commemorated its topping out onsite of its Grapevine, Texas location. The ceremony celebrated the six-story, 120-room hotel and attached food hall as the gateway to Grapevine’s historic district. Ownership of Hotel Vin and Harvest Hall falls under Coury Hospitality and Vin Depot, dedicated to paving the path for Grapevine’s future.

 

Z Resort’s luxury Hotel ZaZa Austin is now open in the Warehouse District of downtown Austin. Texas charm fuses with the city’s urban essence throughout the new property’s 8,500 square feet of meeting and event space, three beverage and dining concepts, 159 guest rooms, full-service spa and rooftop pool.