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Recovery Looks Good for Pasadena Center Operating Company

Published on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 2:54 pm
Pasadena Convention Center. Photo courtesy Pasadena Center Operating Company (PCOC)

The Pasadena Center Operating Company (PCOC) said on Wednesday that it is climbing out of the pandemic and is confident it will meet or exceed our forecasted budget for Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and Tourism Business Improvement District forecasts (TBID).

Money from TBIDs and TOT comes from local hotel stays.

Though hotel measurements are not back to pre-pandemic Fiscal Year 2019 occupancy levels of 78% and rate of $188, from July thru October (4 months into Fiscal Year 2022) hotel occupancy averaged 64% and average daily rate came in stronger than anticipated at $176, according to statement released by the Pasadena Center Operating Company on Wednesday.

California was the last state to reopen for meetings and conventions due to restrictions on indoor gatherings issued by the State. Still, the Pasadena Convention Center managed to host 74 events and shows from July thru December 2021 with over 60,000 attendees.

“I am happy to announce the PCOC is well on the way to recovery. In the second half of our fiscal year, we anticipate hosting over 150,000 attendees at a variety of events and shows,” said Tyron Hampton, PCOC Board Chair and Pasadena Councilmember, District 1. “People want to return to meetings, conventions, and events and the 16 conventions proves people are eager to return to face to face meetings. Pasadena’s hospitality community is resilient and with time I am confident it will rebound stronger as ever. We have great restaurants, hotels, attractions, and events to promote to visitors. The PCOC is working every day to make Pasadena’s hospitality community stronger.”

According to Smith Travel Research (STR), a hotel data firm which provides monthly performance measures and benchmarks to hotels, hotel rates and occupancy will rebound to 2019 late next year or early 2024.

Strong weekend demand has shown that leisure travel is fueling the recovery. Weekday demand is still lagging but shows signs that group meeting business and business travel is slowly returning.

The PCOC said it expects a robust third and fourth quarter (January-June).

There are 16 conventions/conferences booked in Pasadena representing over 25,000 rooms nights. Highlights include:

• CA Association of Public Procurement Officials State Conference

• CA Speech Language & Hearing Association Annual Conference

• Leading Age CA Annual Conference

• International Association of Wildland Fire: Fire & Climate Conference

• Health Care Systems Research Network Annual Conference

• American Astronomical Society Summer Meeting

The PCOC anticipates another 100+ events though the second half of the fiscal year consisting of various meetings, banquets, sports competitions, consumer shows, and car clinics. The Pasadena Civic Auditorium will host five shows of Riverdance, Celtic Women on Tour, America’s Got Talent Season 19, and the Daytime Emmy Awards as well as numerous graduation ceremonies, and the Pasadena Ice Skating Center is back to historic levels in terms of attendance and revenue.

The Ice-Skating Center had over 700 skaters registered in November for the “learn to skate program” — one of highest number of registrations in its 45-year history.

This week, the PCOC will welcome the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) 2021 Fall Conference & Exhibition to Pasadena. ACWA is the largest statewide association of public water agencies in the nation, representing more than 460 public agency members.

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