Tulsa hotels gear up for big crowds ahead of summer events

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s hotel industry says after the challenges of a pandemic, business is finally starting to pick up.

Steve Fischer is the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott and the President of the Metro Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association. He says hotels saw a major surge of visitors around spring break. Since then, he says weekend travel has continued to stay strong. Fischer said, “We’re seeing a lot of transient leisure travel. I think people are anxious to get out and about.”

Fischer said hotel businesses are preparing for multiple large events to come to Tulsa in just the upcoming days. Some of those events include Ironman Tulsa, Tulsa Tough, the Senior PGA Championship, and the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and are all expected to bring in thousands of people and a large economic impact. Fischer said hotel rooms in Downtown Tulsa are booking quickly and some are already full. Fischer said it’s a wise idea to plan ahead if families plan to visit Tulsa during one of these busier weekends.

Tulsa Airbnb owner, Bobbie Brown, said people are also booking Airbnb’s in Tulsa. She said people are booking ahead for the next couple of months. Brown said her property is staying consistently booked and has noticed people booking anywhere from a month to two months ahead. She said, “This year is going very well. I think I have a 67-70% occupancy rate and that’s pretty good.” Brown said her property is almost completely booked through May and June and she is seeing an interest already for July.

Fischer said the uptick in travel interest created some challenges, especially when it comes to staffing, but he said, “That’s the exciting part is to see that demand coming back. That’s a very positive indicator, but as people get out and start to travel they start to realize there are these times where it would be advisable to make arrangements ahead of time.”

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