Survey: South Lake visitors booking large-motel rooms |

Survey: South Lake visitors booking large-motel rooms

Susan Wood

South Lake Tahoe lodging numbers are looking up, if one glances at dollar amounts visitors are paying to stay there.

The average daily rate for lodging has increased by 6 percent to $73.31 from 2000 to 2002, counteracting the same percentage drop in room nights sold in South Lake Tahoe since 1997. Total rooms sold in 2002 were 878,378.

This was a primary point made by South Shore marketer Carl Ribaudo, who runs Strategic Marketing Group.

He gave an overview of the tourism industry to the City Council last week.

Visitors are stepping up from the smaller motels with 50 units or less to booking the larger hotels, indicating where the growth lies.

The growth rate of the bigger properties is exceeding that of the smaller properties, which lost 4 percent of the market share from 1997 to 2002, with 31 percent of the visitors choosing them a year ago. Occupancy for the smaller motels remained at 43 percent for 2002.

The larger properties’ increase in bookings was largely attributed to redevelopment efforts near Stateline and the changing demographic of the destination visitor seeking more amenities.

“We’ve seen the trickle-up effect of rates,” Ribaudo said.

He added that while unit sales have gone up at the Marriott, which spawned the surge of redevelopment on the east side of town, “others have followed.”