ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – There are no hotels available in Abilene, with very few spots opening up ahead of a busy weekend in the Key City. With loads of events like what this weekend will bring, the city is boasting some incredible profits.

Rows of cars lines Abilene hotel parking lots Wednesday ahead of a weekend full of events across the city, including ACU’s Sing Song.

“I tell people Abilene is an anomaly. There’s a lot of events that are going on here all the time,” Director of Sales for Home2 Suites by Hilton, Krista Hale said. “We sit at about 90-100% occupancy most nights.” 

With the increased traffic, some hotels said they’ve had to turn visitors away.

“We try to work together with other various hotels around town, and if we do have to send them away because we are full, it’s the nature of the beast here,” explained Hale.

Over the last year, the Abilene Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (ACVB) reported a 7% revenue increase from in-town hotels. That equates to $4 million. However, Vice President of the ACVB, Robert Lopez, said it’s not due to more foot traffic.

“We’re getting the same amount of visitors, but they’re paying more money,” Lopez expanded. “Hotels are sticking to a high rate and visitors are happy to pay it.” 

That substantial increase in revenue impacts us as taxpayers, as well, because with higher hotel revenues comes a higher hotel occupancy tax.

The money from the city’s hotel occupancy tax goes into the city treasury and helps to fund city services. As Lopez explained it, that reduces the burden for property taxes, “What that means for locals is lower property taxes. So, with our calculations, we estimate that each local household saves $510 on property taxes because of hotel occupancy tax revenues.”

The ACVB said it expects to see a continued interest in tourism in Abilene in the coming years, leading hotel owners and general managers to get ahead of the curve.

“We’re actually opening two new hotels on the south side, so another Home2Suites and Townplace Suites,” added Hale. “Abilene needs it.” 

Lopez said it’s not a bad problem to have, especially with the construction of the downtown hotel still on track for the summer, which would create 200 additional rooms.