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Hospitality and Tourism Board welcomes new member
by Savannah Weeks
February 28, 2013 09:09 PM | 1252 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism Board welcomed a new board member, Michael Berger, at its meeting Thursday at the Sandy Springs Welcome Center.

Berger is owner of Cadence Bike and Multisport in Sandy Springs. The triathlon athlete entered into the world of multisports less than three years ago. This passion quickly led to the opening of a store for Sandy Springs cyclists and triathlon athletes.

Board member Dianne Fries said she hopes Berger will be able to help bring triathlons and other similar races to the area.

Michael Hietter, budget analyst for the city, reported on the board’s budget for the month of January, as well as how the board is faring overall for the year.

“We’re roughly the same as last year,” said Hietter.

Hietter said the board collected about $107,000 from hotels in January. Hietter said the board was $25,000 ahead in revenue from where it was last January.

The board has spent $41,000 less than they had last January, as well, according to Kym Hughes, the board’s executive director.

In terms of occupancy rates, Sandy Springs hotel rooms fared far better than average for January at 68.3 percent. The U.S. average was 51 percent and the Georgia average was 52 percent. Atlanta’s average was 54.2 percent.

At 86.31, Sandy Springs’ average room rate for January was far lower than the U.S. average of $105.96. Georgia’s average, however, was $82.52 and Atlanta’s was $91.46.

But in terms of revenue per available room, Sandy Springs stood higher than the U.S. average of $54.02 at $58.96. Atlanta stood at $54.18.

Board members discussed the discrepancy in average room rates.

“Atlanta does that [lowers the rates] to get someone to stay overnight,” said Hughes.

A hotel representative at the meeting said lower room rates in the area would eventually discourage hotels from building here.

Hughes said that with the recent closing of two hotels in Sandy Springs, the city is low on rooms.
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