Erie sees tourism boost in the Summer, will the trend continue in the Fall?

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Erie is seeing a boom in tourism this Summer, but as temperatures drop and Presque Isle beaches close, is the trend continuing this Fall?

We spoke with regional tourism experts to learn more about hotel occupancy this summer.

We went to the Bayfront to learn more about tourism this Fall.

Many people visited Erie this Summer and tourism experts said that the month of September has also been busy even when compared to 2019.

Traditionally it is the Summer months when Erie has high visitation numbers.

However, there are several reasons why this September Erie hotels and businesses continued to stay busy.

After many events were canceled last Fall, the Erie Sports Commission is bouncing back.

“We had seven events in September, about two million dollars in economic impact. So from a sporting stand point we are right back to basically where we were before the pandemic,” said Mark Jeanerette, Erie Sports Commission.

Jeanerette said that the new owners of the former Erie Bank Sports Park, now called the Erie Sports Center, is bringing more visitors to the area, and bringing about a thousand people to the center for a lacrosse tournament this month.

“The renovations they’ve done in basically a months time are fascinating how quickly they’ve been able to change the complex of the dome in particular, and we’re looking forward to continuing work to find more and more events to help them in their business,” said Jeanerette.

The general manager of the Bayfront Hotel said that there is a demand for travel. He said that weekends in September have been particularly busy.

“September of this year we we’re very much back to what we were back in 2019. A lot of group business, a lot of business from the Convention Center, wedding season a lot of wedding room blocks, and we still saw that leisure guests coming to visit Presque Isle and all the attractions in Erie,” said Dan Porra, General Manager of Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel.

Porra said that they ran about 72% occupancy for the month of September.

He said that so far October visitation numbers have not been as high as they were in 2019.

However, the Sheraton and other area hotels are excited about events including the future of Erie Sports Center.

“It creates a lot of compression in the city. So guests that are selling out other hotels causing more business to come down here to the Bayfront,” said Porra.

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