Last weekend’s NBA All-Star Game, the largest sporting event Charlotte has ever hosted, proved to be a major boost for uptown hotels.
Over the weekend of the NBA’s marquee game, there were more rooms sold in uptown than any other event in the city’s history, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority, the city’s tourism arm.
The average daily rate for hotels uptown hit record highs at with an average of more than $320, according to the CRVA.
That rate during the 2012 Democratic National Convention was about $307, by comparison. For Mecklenburg County overall, the average daily rate during last weekend’s festivities topped $200, up nearly 90 percent over the same period in 2018.
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Total revenue at uptown hotels grew by nearly 171 percent last weekend compared with the same period last year,the CRVA said. Total revenue at hotels in Mecklenburg County overall grew by over 124 percent.
Of course, uptown did add many hotel rooms in the last several months that contributed to the total revenue. The dual-branded AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center opened last summer above the Epicenter last summer, for instance.
Uptown hotels during the All-Star Game were also nearly completely full: Occupancy averaged 95.5 percent, up nearly 29 percent over the same period in 2018, according to the CRVA. All-Star Game weekend occupancy for hotels in Mecklenburg County overall averaged 83.7 percent.
The CRVA also pointed to the media exposure that the NBA All-Star Game received as a marketing boost for the city.
The weekend’s events were broadcast in international markets where Charlotte “has no traditional marketing presence in, such as China, the league’s largest international market,” the CRVA said. Sunday’s game was aired in 215 countries and in 49 languages.
The CRVA has said that the All-Star Game could have a total economic impact of up to $100 million as it drew up to 150,000 over the course of the three days.
Charlotte leaders have said they see major events like the All-Star Game as a way to show off the city and recruit other large-scale events and major employers.
“NBA All-Star 2019 demonstrated the type of world-class event that our city is capable of successfully hosting,” Hornets President Fred Whitfield said. “NBA All-Star 2019 provided an opportunity to showcase the city of Charlotte to a global audience, left a lasting legacy through various NBA Cares initiatives and resulted in both significant economic and reputational impacts.”