City of DeSoto Officials held a Thursday morning meeting (10/31/19) with the city’s hotel operators and Chamber of Commerce representatives to strengthen dialogue and coordinate efforts to attract more and more visitors to DeSoto.
“Our solid financial position and success with bringing in new industry and businesses have made DeSoto very attractive to the hotel industry,” observed interim City Manager M. Renee Johnson. “This has increased both the quality and the number of hotels in DeSoto and provides us with added leverage to attract new visitors.”
While there are many attractive features to promote in DeSoto such as sporting and cultural events, officials realize that their growing hotel market is one of DeSoto’s biggest new attractions and selling points.
Scott Perlmutter, Operations Director for Atlantic Hotels, attended the Thursday morning meeting and welcomed the City’s latest outreach to work together to strengthen DeSoto tourism. He recalled that in 2010 DeSoto had just six hotels that were losing customers to other cities until they came together to form the DeSoto Hotel Association. The hotels pooled their available rooms and worked together so that they could recruit group events. The results were extremely impressive.
”We were working with the City on a number of things to be more aggressive on both rates and marketing dollars, and were able based on tax receipts provided to the State, with fewer hotels to outpace revenue per hotel over other cities like Mesquite, Waxahachie, Grand Prairie, and other major cities.” Perlmutter added that this time around the combined effort to boost tourism had an even greater chance for success. “Now we have more hotels and more opportunities to house larger events in DeSoto. It gives us a greater chance to achieve higher occupancies for those groups because that was a challenge is that we didn’t have enough rooms for the market but now we’ve had a few hotels added since then. It gives us a much great competitive advantage.”
More than a dozen hotel officials participated in the morning meeting and agreed with City representatives there are many attractions here that are worth promoting and that will actively bring in people to DeSoto from outside the region. In 2019 more than 30,000 people attended public festivals such as our Crawfish Festival, Arts Live Festival and our shared 4th of July Celebration with the City of Lancaster. And at these events, our visitors were able to experience DeSoto’s festive culture and groove to the smooth sounds of national headliners like Ruben Studdard, Chrisette Michele, and Willie Clayton. DeSoto also continues to be an active venue for great regional music and the site of countless family reunions.
Helping to identify DeSoto’s tourism strengths and determining better ways to attract new visitors will be part of the ongoing dialogue between the City, our hotel operators and our Chamber of Commerce. As progress is made and new ventures launched, we will bring the details to you via news releases, social media posts, and on our website, www.destotexas.gov. In the meantime, thank you for your attention to our tourism update and we hope to see you in DeSoto!