The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

January 3, 2014

Feasibility study reveals what tourism officials must do to attract more to Clinton

(Continued)

Since 2010, the tax has gradually grown and is expected to reach a little less than $350,000 this year. The opening of the 60-room Wild Rose Resort in 2008 and the 76-room Hampton Inn in 2012 replaced the rooms lost with the conversion of the Frontier Inn.

“We bounced back. I think a significant contribution was the Hampton Inn that has a fair number of rooms and the quality from the Frontier,” said Donaire, adding that places such as Wild Rose, Rastrelli’s and Vista Grande offer the banquet facilities the former hotel had.

The evidence of Clinton’s rebounding hotel market is in the numbers. Hotel occupancy during the summer of 2013 increased by an average of 13 percent per month when compared to the same months (May, June and July) in 2012.

“Part of this is due to the turnaround at LyondellBassell, though it’s a trend we can also attribute to new business developments such as the new Data Dimensions facility and other area businesses who bring in regular weekday traffic,” Donaire said.

The biggest leisure draws to the area this year included the Iowa Harley Owners Group rally, which brought in more than 300 motorcycle riders coming to Clinton. The Nina and the Pinta visits during Father’s Day weekend was another big draw.

Mainstays such as the Eco Center at Rock Creek Marina and the Clinton marina also attracted visitors, though not at an optimal rate.

In addition to revealing Clinton had enough hotels, the study showed Clinton has a lower than ideal occupancy overall.

However, the city has a good amount of weekday, corporate hotel activity.

“I think we’re pleasantly surprised to know we rely on the corporate travelers. Now we can focus on the weekend and leisure travelers,” Donaire said. “We also have confidence knowing we have successful business activity, but room to grow.”

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