Opening Bell

On Reflection: Bringing ’Em Back

Hotel operators anticipate bump as bumbershoot and bite return

By Rob Smith May 19, 2023

Tourists in Seattle

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Seattle magazine.

The return of Bumbershoot and the Bite of Seattle have hotel operators optimistic about the second half of 2023.

A report by commercial real estate firm Marcus & Millichap also notes that international tourism “is likely to ramp up” with China loosening travel restrictions. More than 175,000 Chinese tourists came to Seattle in 2019 and about as many are expected this year.

Other developments expected to increase foot traffic include new amenities at Pier 62 on the waterfront such as Habitat Beach and the addition to the Seattle Convention Center, called Summit.

Two dozen conventions had already been booked at Summit when the report was released in March. Each has a minimum expected attendance of 4,000 people.

The Bite of Seattle, at the Seattle Center, runs from July 21-23. Bumbershoot returns for its 50th anniversary Sept. 2-3. Both have been on hiatus since 2019.

The report notes that all markets except downtown Seattle should return to pre-pandemic levels. The regional occupancy rate is estimated at 71.9%.

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