Victoria hotels hoping for boost from Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan

Victoria hotels hoping for boost from Phase 3 of B.C.'s Restart Plan
WatchSome Victoria hotels are banking on Phase 3 to help them through the crisis and they're hoping British Columbians see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Julian Kolsut reports.

Many hotels in Victoria say they desperately need a boost, and they hope “Phase 3” is a bit of an answer.

The province is expected to make the announcement sometime this week about the next phase of its reopening plan, which will allow travel within the province.

Victoria’s Empress Hotel is opening Friday.

“In high season, we are looking at 95 to 100 per cent occupancy. It’s not going to be that summer. But I feel like we should feel lucky that we are going to be open during the summer season,” said Tracey Drake, director of marketing at the Fairmont Empress.

“It’s not going to be business as usual, and I think there is an opportunity there [for provincial travellers]. There is an opportunity there to embrace what we do locally.”

The Hotel Grand Pacific opened Sunday, and also hopes it will boost numbers.

“We can get into the 40 to 50 to 60 per cent range,” said Reid James, general manager.

It depends. This announcement will let us know soon enough.”

Experts say it will help them just squeeze by.

“A hotel and tourism business doesn’t get profitable until around 65 per cent to 70 per cent occupancy,” said Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey.

“We are not going to get that this year. But it will provide some revenue to see them through, It will take about a year to 18 months to get back if everything goes well.”

The Empress says some guests have booked for their opening day.

“We have quite a good number of guests who will be joining us for our first night and through the weekend,”  said Tracey Drake, director of marketing at the Fairmont Empress.

“I think there is a good appetite, people are looking to travel.”

The Hotel Grand Pacific opened Sunday and also has some guests.

“We have had some pretty good reservations this week,” said James.

“There’s a little bit of everything. A little bit of corporate, little bit of leisure, little bit of government. We looking forward to even better next week and for the rest of the summer.”

The industry hopes locals will see this as a unique opportunity

“This is a historic time for British Colombians,” said Drake.

‘This is probably the only year in recent history that people will be able to have the cities and towns to themselves.”

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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