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Cookeville Hotel Booking Returning To Normal

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Cookeville hotel bookings are beginning to return to normal, according to hotel administrators.

Holiday Inn Chief Operating Officer Rich Tuckwell said bookings dropped to 20 percent occupancy in March when it would normally be 80 percent.

“April was even more solid,” Tuckwell said. “[In] May we really started to notice a big turnaround, and June has been very solid for us versus, obviously, not last year but versus where we could have been with COVID. We’ve absolutely bucked the trend on occupancy and ADR.”

Tuckwell said occupancy dropped 60 percent in April in comparison to 2019 and 50 percent in May. Normally June would be 80 percent, but it has been 65 percent this year. He said occupancy is close to 100 percent on the weekends.

Aggressive marketing and providing rooms for tornado victims have kept occupancy numbers from dipping too low, Tuckwell said.

Days Inn Manager Raj Patel said bookings for this time of year are near normal compared to last year.

“Currently it’s looking like we are almost back to normal,” Patel said. “As long as there are events and stuff like that in the city and in town, I think we should be doing good.”

Patel said the last few months bookings were down 30 percent on weekends, and 40 percent on weekdays.

Most guests are either from out of town or are walk-ins from the surrounding area, Patel said.

Comfort Inn and Suites Manager Sheila Eller said she never saw room occupancy drop to single digits.

“We have actually been fairly busy,” Eller said. “Several nights we actually had occupancy above what we had last year. Obviously there has been some reduction after March. However, after Memorial Day, we’ve been pretty steady.”

Eller said the hotel’s average daily rate has dropped, but occupancy has remained steady since last year.

Construction workers from the tornado and Tennessee Tech projects, traveling nurses, and traveling ball teams have been the main visitors, Eller said.


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