Between the Brier and the U Sports women’s basketball championship, Regina’s hospitality industry is off to a booming start this year.
Tracy Fahlman, president and CEO of the Regina Hotel Association, said 85 per cent of hotels in the city were full over the past 10 days — that’s compared to just 53 per cent all of last March.
She said Regina’s hospitality sector hasn’t seen this much action since 2013, which is the year the city hosted the Juno Awards and the Grey Cup.
“This past week saw such an injection into our hospitality industry, and 2018 is almost comparable to (2013) as well, with all the major national events coming to the city,” Fahlman said.
Between May’s Memorial Cup and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open coming this summer, she said the city’s hospitality industry is in for an even bigger boost.
Fahlman said the reason the Queen City’s seeing more national events lately, is — in part — due to the increase in new hotels. For instance, she noted when Regina last hosted the Brier in 2006, there were only 2,800 hotel rooms. This time around, there were nearly 4,000.
“The hotel supply is definitely a very deciding factor when national events are shopping cities to host,” said Fahlman.
“We now have the capacity to host almost any major national sporting event, conference, et cetera. What we saw this past week — with the women’s basketball championship as well as the Brier — is we are also able to host concurrent events.”
In addition to Regina’s increased hotel capacity, Fahlman said the new International Trade Centre is also playing a role in drawing more major events.