Rise in Hotels downtown raise demand question - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Rise in Hotels downtown raise demand question

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Downtown La Crosse will soon be home to four new hotels, bringing more than 400 rooms to the downtown area.

Currently, the Hampton Inn and Suites and Weber Holdings' Charmant Hotel are under construction. Both are expected to open in August of this year.

Additionally, two more hotels are in the works to open in 2016. The Fairfield Inn and a hotel built by Weber Holdings will add to the downtown La Crosse skyline late next year.

Dave Clements, the executive director of the La Crosse Visitors Bureau, said 2014 was a record year for hotel occupancy in the city.

"Nine out of the twelve months last year were record breaking," he said. "The whole calendar of the whole year, there's something going on almost every week so its just been this incredible growth in all these different areas and interests."

The increase in the number of events and conferences held in La Crosse is driving the demand for hotel rooms up, according to Clements.

'We're hitting on all cylinders with many of those groups because of all the different things we offer," Clements said. "A beautiful downtown, great nightlife downtown, the scenic river, granddad bluff, people want to be here."

Diana Rusk is the general manager at the Holiday Inn in La Crosse and said her hotel welcomes the competition of new hotels in the area.

'Competition makes us all better," she said. "It's meeting a need to keep travelers in the La Crosse area and paying occupancy tax in the city instead of pushing that business into other communities, so it will increase our tax base."

Rusk said that's not the only benefit of more hotels.

"It will increase our ability to attract larger conferences that maybe the hotel room availability had been a problem in the past," she said.

Outside of conferences and festivals, Rusk said a lot of people come to La Crosse simply to visit.

"I think on weekends you have families visiting and people touring the Midwest," she said. "I do feel there are a lot of visitors to La Crosse that enjoy the city and come to see the river and keep coming back year after year."

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