Jon Hunter, spokesman for Oceans Resorts, owner of several local convention hotels including the Plaza Resort & Spa and the Radisson Resort, said his properties also have seen an increase in convention bookings.
But it could be better, Hunter
said."Nothing is as good as you want it to be.There are always other factors," he
said, such as fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.Still, Hunter
said, despite the Plaza
, the chain's flagship, undergoing renovations, the work hasn't deterred people from coming and once they get here, they like what they see."Daytona Beach has always been a good place for state associations to meet," he
said, adding bookings are up between 30 percent and 40 percent this year over the previous year.While the renovations have helped make the property more marketable, Hunter
staff still has to work hard to close the sale.Most of Oceans Resorts' conventions and meetings take place in May, June and October, he
said.Some in the industry, as well as local politicians, have suggested the area is losing convention business during March because of Bike Week and Spring Break.Hunter disagrees."I'm not convinced there are enough meetings and conventions to counteract the business that we get from special events," he
said.Tourism officials in West Volusia have not actively pursued the convention and meetings market.