Hotel revenues surge in Jonesboro

by George Jared ([email protected]) 483 views 

Hotels in the city of Jonesboro set an all-time collections record in September.

Collectively, the city’s 31 hotels had receipts of $3.7 million in September, a 15% increase compared to the $3.2 million collected in September 2022. Year to date, the hotels have had gross revenues of close to $30 million. It exceeds last year by 5.3%, when gross revenues were $28.1 million year to date through September, according to STR national hotel data collection service.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver called it “just more proof that Jonesboro continues to thrive as it grows.”

A&P Commission Chairman Jerry Morgan said “strong growth is the result of long-term strategic planning and public-private partnerships between various groups and the A&P Commission.”

The Advertising & Promotions Commission collects revenues from a 4-cent hotel tax and allocates that funding for events that bring visitors to Jonesboro for recreational and shopping, dining and hotel purposes. The latest evidence was a groundbreaking last week for artificial turf on two adult-size soccer fields at Joe Mack Campbell Park. That partnership previously provided artificial infields on several baseball fields.

“The partnerships between the A&P Commission and the city of Jonesboro on the Joe Mack Park ball fields continue to pay dividends, along with the partnership of the O’Reilly Group and the Red Wolf Convention Center,” Morgan said.

The O’Reilly Group owns the Embassy Suite Hotel at the convention center, which has continued to bring new conventions to Jonesboro. Red Wolf Convention Center Director of Sales Kandi Baker said three Arkansas State University home football games generated more than 90% capacity, and a youth baseball tournament at Joe Mack Campbell Park and the Jonesboro BBQ Fest drew crowds on the final weekend.

“The baseball tournament brought in people from four surrounding states, and the September weekdays brought in several conferences, including the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Association, which boosted hotel numbers,” Baker said.

Baker said the conferences brought visitors from around the globe. “The diversity of sports, corporate, and association bookings provided significant growth for hotels,” she said.

Naz Kazi, who owns several hotel properties in his hometown, said Jonesboro’s improving numbers are credit to not just the growth of hotels but the quality of those hotels. Jonesboro has 2,380 hotel rooms, the latest addition being a Residence Inn by Marriott, with two more properties under construction.

“The growth of Jonesboro can be seen in the growth of the hotel taxes, because as industries and businesses expand and continue to reinvest in Jonesboro, hotel room sales will continue to rise,” Kazi said. “With the growth of new hotels being high-caliber properties, those numbers will continue to increase.”