VisitCOS optimistic for 2021 despite setbacks caused by the pandemic

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COLORADO SPRINGS — 2021 is being referred to as the year of recovery by VisitCOS.

Doug Price, CEO of VisitCOS, said 2020 was a year that posed challenges for Colorado Springs.

“I would say it was a year that none of us expected, and yet it’s a year I would say people remained optimistic because people knew how well-positioned Colorado Springs was going into the pandemic,” said Price.

VisitCOS said the occupancy level for Colorado Springs’ hotels hit a low point in April of 2020 at just 18%. By the end of the year, Price said Olympic City USA ran a 50% hotel occupancy, the lowest since 1986, but nationwide the City ranking 7th overall.

According to Price, “The Lodging and Auto Rental Tax was down about 40% compared to 2019.”

Despite the setback, the pandemic couldn’t stop the home of Pikes Peak from succeeding.

The Broadmoor recently snagged Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star Award, an honor they’ve kept since 1960.

“It’s something we work hard for to secure; it’s never a sure thing, so earning it this year and during the pandemic is quite a feat,” said Krista Heinicke, Communication Manager of the Broadmoor.

Local tourists helped the City’s economy stay afloat. VisitCOS said 70% of visitors seen throughout the pandemic lived within the state. The Broadmoor also offered Colorado residents exclusive deals to stay in their hotel.

“We really marketed towards Colorado residents, and we wanted them to come and see the hotel, even if they live five minutes away, down the street,” explained Heinicke.

With 2021 in full swing, the city is optimistic for its road to recovery.

“As vaccinations in our country begin to increase, we will see more visitors feeling comfortable to travel,” said Price.

VisitCOS said with the vaccines increasing, next month’s addition of Southwest Airlines to the Colorado Springs Airport, the Cog Railway’s reopening, the Olympics, and the city’s 150th Anniversary, they are confident 2021 will be a better year.

Price expressed, “Coming out of the pandemic; we are going to have things to offer things to residents and visitors that will help our recovery go faster than most,”

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