AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With the start of the travel season, the demand for hotels in Amarillo continues to rise.
The tourism and travel industry is booming in Amarillo with the latest numbers showing tourists spending $1,600-per-minute with hotels leading the way.
“Amarillo did 870 million in direct spending from tourists. That’s not a calculated number, that really is what they spend in our economy,” explains Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council Deputy Director Kashion Smith.
In the recent months, there have been 12 new hotel projects in Amarillo, increasing available hotel rooms to 7,000.
“So, we’ve actually been watching a lot of builds in the last few years on hotels. And what we see whenever we watch the numbers is that our demand is still going up,” says Smith.
With more people coming to Amarillo for conventions, sports games or just traveling through on I-40, the demand keeps rising. According to Smith, the overall yearly average for occupancy in hotels in Amarillo is 70 percent when you factor in winter lows and summer highs.
“There is a need for more hotels in Amarillo. Already with the opening of the Embassy Suites Convention Center, we are getting more and more conventions all the time,” says Center City of Amarillo Executive Director Beth Duke.
From new hotels on I-40 to a new kind of hotel that Amarillo has never seen before in downtown called The Barfield.
“This one is going to be a luxury boutique hotel. It’s going to be all new and sleek on the inside and historic on the outside. It’s even going to have a bar in the basement called a speak-easy, presidential suites,” explains Duke. "It’s going to be a level of luxury.
“It’s a spare no expense, make sure that everything not only feels luxurious, but at the same time honors the Panhandle and honors Amarillo as a city,” explains The Barfield General Manager Jeff Kramer.