Travel Industry Report Shows Hotel Occupancy Gains for VenturaCountyWest

Ventura, CA, October 06, 2012 --( The most recent Smith Travel Research (STR) report , which tracks hotel transaction statistics, reveals hotels in VenturaCountyWest (cities of Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura) are on pace to have one of their best occupancy years ever.

The August 2012 STR report, shows VenturaCountyWest occupancy rates outperforming Ventura County as a whole for both July and August and outperforming Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego North East, Los Angeles North and the state of California in August. Camarillo experienced an 84.9 percent occupancy rate, with Oxnard at 84.5 and Ventura at 81.9 percent. The numbers were similar in July.

“All our Brighton Management properties in VenturaCountyWest, including the Four Points Sheraton, are on pace to have their best year yet," says Victor Dollar, general manager of Four Points Sheraton at Ventura Harbor and the chair of the Ventura Lodging Association (VCLA), which oversees VenturaCountyWest marketing efforts. "We are very happy with the VCLA marketing. Through VCLA, which functions as the area's Tourism Business Improvement District, we have been able to do many things not previously possible such as create focused media in our drive-to markets and increased advertising in new markets such as Canada and Bakersfield, where we’re already making inroads.”

The percentage change of occupancy during the summer months compared to 2011 is also significant, posting a higher average percentage gain April through August than any other southern or central California region. “Hosting the Dallas Cowboys summer training camp unquestionably helped our hotel in August," says David Dreher, general manager of Residence Inn by Marriott at River Ridge and VCLA treasurer. "However, all three cities showed impressive occupancy rates all summer--outpacing other tourism districts including the established destination of Santa Barbara County. Our marketing campaign started in April. Since then, we've seen upward movement each month in the occupancy numbers when compared to last year. The VCLA feels there is momentum behind the increases we have been experiencing. The numbers are looking good for September and we feel confident they will hold.”

The region was able to withstand a more aggressive pricing strategy with upticks in room rates ranging from 3.4 percent to 7.9 percent during summer. “We’re still an incredible value compared to some of the cities up the coast such as Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo," says Josephine Williams, general manager of Residence Inn by Marriott Camarillo. "The amenities are as good, the weather is just as nice--but we cost less. The area offers tremendous diversity and a range of things to do. That’s why I moved here. If I want to go shopping, I have the Camarillo Outlets, if I want to go whale watching or to the Channel Islands, I go to Oxnard, and Ventura has wonderful restaurants and nightlife. For the price, you can’t beat it.”

Gary Wartik, VCLA director, sees the hospitality industry leading what is otherwise a slow economic recovery in Southern California. "The Smith Travel Report for VenturaCountyWest reflects a continuing improvement in room night sales and hotel income that exceeds comparable areas in Southern California," says Wartik. "Our media campaign has demonstrated to prospective visitors, both the casual tourist and the business visitor, that Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura are a strong draw for those who seek a wide variety of new enjoyable, well-priced and beautiful venues to visit. We urge the traditional visitor and business person to come to see VenturaCountyWest for themselves. They will become believers."

For a copy of the STR for Southern and Central California, contact Gary Wartik, Director of the Ventura County Lodging Association at

Ventura County Lodging Association (VCLA)
The Ventura County Lodging Association (VCLA) is comprised of lodging facilities and destination marketing organizations in the California cities of Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura. VCLA represents 61 members including hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, RV Resorts, resort rentals, the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau and Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau. Its marketing campaign, "VenturaCountyWest, Inspiring Choices," is designed to attract overnight leisure and business visitors to the region.
Ventura County Lodging Association
Diane Rumbaugh