Albany tourism officials are looking forward to the upcoming season. (Source:WALB)
Albany's tourism season usually begins in March. (Source:WALB)
The storms did have an effect on the upcoming Snickers Marathon. (Source:WALB)
Rashelle Beasley, Director of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Albany tourism officials told WALB News 10 that 2016 was a strong year for the industry.
Last year, hotel occupancy was up by 7% in Albany.
But with the devastation left by January’s severe weather, could the tourism industry suffer in 2017?
Rashelle Beasley the Director of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau said no.
“I don’t think so, just because of the fact that all of our hotels are intact, all of our attractions are intact, with the exception of the museum,” Beasley said.
That museum being the Albany Museum of Art which suffered major damage during the January 2nd wind storm. But the museum is still offering some of its activities thanks to a space provided by the Thronateeska Heritage Center.
"We all kind of come together in the hospitality world and just try to help each other and make things work,” Beasley added.
Although the storm didn't directly hit Albany's tourist attractions, it did take a toll on the upcoming Snickers marathon.
"The storm really made an impact on people thinking that our marathon wouldn't continue but it is,” Beasley said.
But with fewer participants, around 1200 runners are expected to take to the streets of Albany in March, nearly 400 fewer runners than last year. Beasley said parts of the course did see some damage from the storms.
"We are monitoring the course that did have damage on it to make sure that it's getting cleaned up," the director mentioned.
And the city will be ready to go for both the Snickers Marathon and its annual Mardi Gras event.
"It'll be just a great time for our community to just have something to cheer about, something to celebrate, something we can all get excited about,” Beasley said.