Holiday weekend gave hotels, restaurants a glimpse of normalcy

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 16:04:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego hotels, restaurants and attractions got a glimpse of normalcy over the holiday weekend when they were packed with tourists.

Seaport Village was filled with visitors, with lines outside restaurants and socially distant seating areas filled. Hotels also reported increased occupancy, including the Intercontinental San Diego, where more than 90 percent of the rooms were taken.

Hotel General Manager Chuck Abbott said many people used the hotel as a home base, going out for activities along the busy waterfront.

"There was lots of people, lots of animals, lots of people walking on the Embarcadero, so it was looking like normal from that standpoint during that weekend, which was really good to see," he said.

But by Tuesday, it was back to reality. More than 50 percent of the Intercontinental's guests checked out on Memorial Day, and they were not replaced by business travelers coming in for conventions which don't return until Aug. 1. The first will be the SPIE Optics + Photonics convention, with an expected attendance of 1,500 people.

That pushed the Intercontinental's occupancy down to percentages in the high 20s or low 30s.

"Right now, weekends are getting almost back to normal, but during the week still, the business travel and the group meetings are just not quite where we need to be," Abbott said.

Abbott said some small group meetings are starting at the end of this month, and that the hotel is hiring.