BUFFALO, N.Y., June 17, 2009 - Delaware North Companies has good news
to share on the travel front, despite the worst economic conditions since
the Great Depression. The $2 billion global leader in hospitality and food
services owns and/or operates 15 lodging properties in unique places like
Yosemite, Yellowstone and Harrison Hot Springs, a town that traces its
roots to the Gold Rush of the 1900s.
"We have long referred to them as special places," said Kevin Kelly,
president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts. "What we're
learning now is that our guests agree."
According to the Travel Industry Association of America, the number
of domestic travelers this summer will be at a five-year low. In addition,
TIA expects nearly 10 percent fewer international travelers will arrive
on U.S. soil this year.
Yet some of Delaware North's locations are bucking the trend. At the
Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, an Ohio state park hotel, booked room nights
are up 13 percent for April through June. In fact, the lodge's occupancy
in April was the highest in its six-year history. What makes the story
more powerful is the fact that the nearby Cleveland market experienced
an 11-percent decline in its occupancy from January through April, according
to Smith Travel Research:
January 2009 - April 2009
Source: Smith Travel Research
||Rev. Per Available Room
|The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake
"Surrounded by natural beauty, guests have the ability to focus on what
is truly important (friends, family, relationships, self). In addition,
Delaware North has many affordable options for people who are reluctant
to break the bank in such a shaky economy."
News is positive as well in Yosemite National Park, where Delaware
North handles virtually all guest services, including the management of
eight lodging properties that range from wilderness camps in the High Sierra
to The Ahwahnee, a lavish four-diamond hotel that is widely considered
the sweetheart of national park lodges. If visitation over the Memorial
Day weekend is any indication, the company is poised for a good season.
And that was before the U.S. National Park Service announced it is sponsoring
three fee-free weekends this summer at Yosemite and 146 other parks. Delaware
North is further enticing guests with a $5 online coupon that is good on
retail, recreation and dining.
Tenaya Lodge, a four-diamond property located a stone's throw from Yosemite's
southern entrance and the giant sequoia trees, is projecting a 9-percent
increase in business over last year. Delaware North has owned and operated
the resort since 2001.
"Research is telling us that the need to escape the stress of our current
economy makes our locations ideal retreats," said Kelly, adding that none
of Delaware North's hotels is found in a metropolitan area.
The Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake
4888 North Broadway (State Route 534 North)
It's wise not to count your chickens before they're hatched, but given
how many guests are following through on their vacation plans, Kelly is
looking closer than ever at reservations.
"From January through May, we experienced 43 percent less no-shows and
fewer cancellations than we did during the same period in 2008."
He again cites guests' strong desire for R and R, also giving credit
to his marketing team.
"We use a highly targeted approach with a strong use of guest profiling
for our marketing efforts. In other words, we know who is likely to book,
so we focus our efforts on those audiences."
About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of Delaware
North Companies, a leading hospitality provider with significant experience
in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations.
The company's portfolio includes historic properties in North America,
such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone
and Grand Canyon national parks; Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds;
Tenaya Lodge and Apple Tree Inn; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa;
Niagara Falls State Park; Jones Beach; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake;
Gideon Putnam Resort; and a newly acquired hotel in West Yellowstone. To
learn more about Delaware North Companies' expertise in the hospitality
industry, visit www.experiencednc.com.
About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the world's leading hospitality
and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North
Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment,
Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies
Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North
Companies Boston, owner of TD Banknorth Garden. Delaware North Companies
is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with
revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 50,000 associates serving half
a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia
and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.