Hotels await weekend boom

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There is a lack of lodging in the City of Atmore this weekend and hotel owners as well as city leaders are thrilled by the anticipated boost in the economy.

Hotel managers attribute the no vacancies to several events scheduled for Saturday including the R&B group The O’Jays in concert at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel and the 19th annual Williams Station Day, which will also be recognized as the Great Atmore Homecoming.

All 404 rooms available off Interstate 65 are booked up Saturday night. Muskogee Inn General Manager Rochel Martin said all 88 rooms at her hotel are booked for the concert.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It feels great to be booked up,” Martin said. “A lot of our business right now is coming from the concerts here at Wind Creek. The weekends that they have the concerts, we are booked solid.”

In addition, Property Manager Arthur Mothershed with Wind Creek Casino and Hotel confirmed Tuesday afternoon that all 236 rooms are booked for the weekend.

“There is a lot going on this weekend with the O’Jays in concert and numerous other promotions we are holding this month,” he said.

As for the 80 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, General Manager Tonya Roddenberry said that they are all booked up for Saturday night with rooms quickly being reserved for Friday night.

“There are people still calling to get rooms,” Roddenberry “We’ve been booked up for a month.”

Roddenberry added that the phones at the hotel are still ringing off the hook.

“We are very, very busy,” she said. “If we book out on Friday night it will tell me that we are booking out for Williams Station Day, but people may only be staying Saturday night after the event.”

Being booked is something Roddenberry believes is a good sign for the city.

“We like it when we are booked,” she said. “It lets us know that people are coming to Atmore.”

Atmore Mayor Howard Shell welcomes the city’s guests during a year with “flat” city tax revenue.

“It’s always good when you’ve got most of your hotels and motels filled up,” he said. “That means people are in town to visit and if they are in town that means all of the restaurants will be busy, the gas stations will be busy and there should be a lot of activity going on. We’re glad to see it.”

Shell compares the economic spike for the city to one a consumer may feel with some additional money.

“It’s kind of like in your personal budget, when you have a little spike, it’s appreciated,” Shell said. “We can always use it.”

As for Williams Station Day, city workers have been cleaning Pensacola Avenue, the stage for the big day, in addition to streets near it.

“Williams Station Day has become kind of a reunion,” Shell said. “There are an awful lot of people that use the annual festival as a focal point to hold family reunions and class reunions, and we see this more and more each year. I see it as a good thing not only because it gives people something to do while they are here, but it’s good for the city too with that many people in town enjoying themselves.”

There are a few hotel rooms left in Atmore, but they are going fast, and finding them is a daunting task.

All the hotel rooms off Interstate 65 in Atmore are booked this weekend for events.|News Graphic