I read a statement in the newspaper by Steve Navarro from Historic Marina Partners that surprised me. He said recent data revealed we need more hotel rooms and more upscale places for people to stay in downtown Beaufort.
He also says he could not find a hotel room downtown for the night of Dec. 4; he, therefore, stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn.
As owner of the Cuthbert House Inn downtown, I assure you we had plenty of rooms that night, as did the Rhett House Inn and the Sea Island Best Western Inn. (We spoke to both.)
As an owner of an upscale place to stay in Beaufort, I wonder if we are receiving good, hard data. Neither the city nor the chamber are collecting real occupancy data from the downtown accommodations. I believe we are depending on state and county averages, which don't tell our whole story.
No upscale downtown hotel is overrun with business. Additionally, a number of downtown properties are expanding, and we are adding short-stay properties to the mix all the time. Only a professional hotel group with reams of research and skin in the game should state we need more upscale accommodations.
What this city needs is to increase tourism and broaden local downtown participation is more accessibility to the natural, cultural and historical significance of Beaufort. That means meaningful, strategically placed museums, an inviting, up-to-date marina, water sports all sold at one spot, and more downtown, advertised events.