James Moore, Associate General Manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites off of Interstate 20 says, "I know there is one gentleman with the oil business that has stayed with us that says he drives to our property every night because he would rather stay with us and at a little bit of a discounted rate compared to their rates over there in that area."
Driving from Abilene to Midland to work each day is not the norm, but another hotel operator says that she sees more guests from the Sweetwater area. "I know that Sweetwater and Snyder, their infrastructure is just not set up to handle what they are getting right now, so a lot of what we are seeing is coming from that area."
The oil industry is not the only booming business blowing sales Abilene's way. According to Tisha Monsivias, who works at The Whitten Inn, "We have also got the windmill business. They are a little more sporadic, but we have been in touch with a company who will be building anywhere from 300 to 400 windmills."
General Manager of Residence Inn off of Interstate 20 says that when their property opened up six years ago, a large percentage of the occupancy was from wind energy companies. Now she says that it is a toss up between the oil and wind energy corporations.
According to the Abilene Visitors Bureau, the occupancy rate for rated Abilene hotels is slightly up. One figure that has increased is the average rate for an Abilene hotel. The average rate is up 4% from last year.
No matter what the reason for the higher occupancy, Abilene hotels are glad to be keeping their rooms full.