Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Best Western Inn housekeepers Cheri Montoya and Kylie Royle make a bed Tuesday morning at the Tooele hotel. Local hotels have seen lower occupancy rates during the holidays.

December 18, 2012
Local motels emptying out as holidays approach

It’s a good time to find a motel room in the Tooele Valley.

“We are around 70 percent full right now,” said Ginger Martin, general manager of the Oquirrh Motor Inn in Lake Point.

A 70 percent occupancy rate is pretty full for the Oquirrh Motor Inn during the winter months, according to Martin.

In spring time the average occupancy rate rises to around 85 percent with the hotel filling up for events that attract a lot of people from out of town like races at Miller Motorsports Park, said Martin.

“We thought with the Comfort Inn opening up across the street that we would experience a drop in our occupancy but that hasn’t been the case,” said Martin. “Our business has remained pretty consistent with past years.”

Throughout the year, most of Oquirrh Motor Inn’s guests are construction workers and temporary workers at Kennecott Utah Copper that stay at the hotel while they are working away from their family, according to Martin.

The Oquirrh Motor Inn does not change its rates according to the season.

“About a week before Christmas they will check out and go home for the holidays,” said Martin. “But during the holidays we stay busy, so far we have 10 reservations for people coming in to stay with us while they visit family in the area for the holidays.”

The Oquirrh Motor Inn can also count on three or four truck drivers that are on the road during the holidays that end up staying over for Christmas.

“We host a special pie night for guests that stay over the holidays and leave small gifts in their room,” said Martin.

Bad weather during the holiday season can be good for business, Martin said.

“During the storm last weekend we filled up with motorists off I-80 that didn’t want to drive in the bad weather,” said Martin.

The business customers that are the normal clientele at the Best Western Inn Tooele also check out for the holidays, said Ginny Rhea, manager.

“Our guests are primarily business people and government workers in town on business,” said Rhea. “Most companies don’t send their people out over the holidays so things get a little quiet around here for Christmas.”

The people that stay at the Best Western Inn over the holidays are there to visit family in town and don’t spend a lot of time in the hotel. The Best Western Inn also rents out its conference room for family and business Christmas parties.

“We have a lot of companies and families that rent out our facilities for their parties every year,” said Rhea. “We’ve become a tradition for them.”

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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