PA Hotels in Marcellus Shale Region See Record Occupancy Rates, New Website Helps Workers Find Space

MDN has previously covered the economic benefits of drilling and its impact on local lodging—hotels, motels and even apartment rentals. More evidence of that below, plus a new website to help workers visiting PA find lodging.

Hotels in the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton metropolitan area outperformed state and national counterparts in 2010 for occupancy, revenue and other metrics, according to Smith Travel Research, a Nashville-area consulting company that tracks industry performance.

"It’s been very good for our business, and it’s going to get better," said Tim Dietrick, owner of a Microtel Inn & Suites that opened in September near Interstate 81 on Main Street in Dickson City, which had eight people coming in for a month one recent week.

Dan Edwards, general manager at the Comfort Inn properties in South Abington Twp. and Moosic, said both sites draw gas-related lodgers, especially the Abingtons location because it is closer to drilling sites.

"They are taking 25 or 30 rooms at a time," Mr. Edwards said. "When the economy went sour, we probably would have been in pretty bad shape in the local hotel market if it had not been for them."

Hotel-tax revenue in Lackawanna County increased 8 percent in 2010 from 2009, said Ron Koldjeski, deputy director of the Lackawanna County Tax Claim Bureau. The county collected $1.4 million, he said, up $102,000 from 2009.

The opening of two hotels in 2010, the 62-room Microtel in Dickson City, and a 110-room TownPlace Suites by Marriott in Moosic, reflect momentum in the sector.

A 102-unit Holiday Inn Express is scheduled to open this spring on Commerce Boulevard in Dickson City.

The new properties helped increase employment in the metro area’s accommodation sector to 19,400 in December, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. It was up 2 percent from 19,000 in the year-prior period.*

A new website just launched by Marriott promotes their properties in Central and Western PA to Marcellus Shale workers:

MDN previously highlighted another website established to help workers find accommodations:

*The Times-Tribune (Mar 20, 2011) – Lodging up in Lackawanna from gas drilling