Occupancy at hotels and motels in Butte-Silver Bow County dropped from about 53% in 2019 to about 40% last year, an actual rate decrease of nearly 25%, according to STR, a company that tracks such data.
Overall revenue was down about 28% last year compared to 2019, Pochervina said. But the crunch was felt nationwide, of course, and among eight sizable cities in western Montana including Butte, the decline was steeper in four of them.
Things eventually got a little better last year, Pochervina said, but convention business that some hotels get has still not rebounded. They’re starting to see some cancellations for the early part of this year, too, but some are still possible in the coming months.
Visitors to the Visitor Information Center at the Butte Chamber of Commerce on George Street averaged about 70 per day last summer, down from about 250 per day the year before, Pochervina said.
“While this was heartbreaking, it allowed the staff to take more time with visitors, offering more information on Butte, the region and the state,” she said.
The goal is to keep visitors in Butte longer and inspire return trips, and most visitors were grateful for the attention and information, Pochervina said. Many visitor centers in Montana were closed last summer.
People asked for information on camping and grocery stores more than past years, she said, and outdoor recreational opportunities “were by far” the top inquiry.