A packed summer convention calendar likely resulted in a huge boon for Center City hotels, which saw record hotel occupancy in June.

Overall occupancy peaked at 89.4 percent—the highest monthly occupancy on record. The average daily rate also broke a record, witnessing $212.95, the highest since October 2014. The Government Finance Officers Association, the Biotechnology Industrial Organization convention and the International Society for Technology in Education convention helped grow midweek occupancy.  

The Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing is just one of the hotels that experienced such stellar business.

“June was a great month for us and for many Center City hotels. The importance of conventions to the hotel industry cannot be stated enough,” says Bill Fitzgerald, general manager of the hotel. “When the convention center is consistently filled is when we thrive, benefitting the more than 65,000 hospitality industry workers in Philadelphia.”

The conventions the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau booked resulted in 97,208 room nights in June and generated an economic impact of roughly $121 million.

“We are thrilled that our convention and group business has helped secure the highest June hotel occupancy on record,” says Jack Ferguson, president/CEO PHLCVB. "We consistently tout to our convention groups how easily accessible Philadelphia is for their attendees, and with all the national and international buzz about Philadelphia, conventions are drawing higher-than-average attendance. Three of our largest groups this year have broken or nearly broken their attendance records.”

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has announced that Karen Dougherty Buchholz is the new chair of its board of directors. Currently serving as the executive vice president of administration for Comcast Corporation, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, Buchholz succeeds longtime PHLCVB chair Nicholas DeBenedictis, chairman emeritus of Aqua America.

 

Atlantic City

Last year was the highest grossing ever for the United States commercial gaming industry.* Meeting planners who hold gatherings at casinos may just feel like they’ve hit the jackpot, too. Casino-based events provide one-stop convenience—the amenities of convention centers and bountiful hotel rooms, plus activities, dining, and nightlife. 

 

Doreen Guerin grew up an Air Force brat, living in Texas, Louisiana, and later England and France. When she was 13, her parents moved to Queens and, Guerin says, “I’m a New Yorker through and through.” That’s apparent from her accent as well as her dedication to the Javits Center, where, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, she oversees the booking and event-related operations for more than 170 events each year. 

M+E: What fueled your interest in working in the conventions industry?