Pelee Days Inn the new Wheels? (con't)
While not on the scale of Wheels it does over attractions like a water park complete with slides and two salt water pools.
The 94-room hotel also has long been the home of local dinner theatre.
Its location on Leamington’s southern edge makes it closer to natural wetlands for bird watchers and renowned Point Pelee National Park.
The hotel’s new marketing coordinator Shane Reinhart realizes the niche that has opened with Wheels closing, and says Pelee is going after that market.
“That is what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said.
More than $1 million has been invested in room upgrades and Reinhart said the hotel could be expanded if guest numbers warrant.
The average occupancy rate in 2010 was almost 60 per cent.
The recent March Break attracted a lower than expected figure.
Reinhart is convinced the numbers can be increased through more focussed advertising.
In particular, he said, the Chatham-Kent market is unfamiliar with the Pelee Days Inn.
“There’s still a lot more business there that we can capture.”
“We’ve noticed that a lot of individuals in the Chatham area don’t really know what we have to offer so that has been the challenge for us.”
The hotel is also signing up with online travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity.
“We think that that will certainly increase occupancy and capture some of the old Wheels Inn market,” Reinhart said.
But while numbers over March Break were disappointing there was a silver lining.
Reinhart, a native of Vancouver and who has worked at hotel properties throughout North America, said he had “not seen” so many families at one time at a hotel having as much fun.
“Parents going down water slides with their kids, the pasta buffet that we had – it was very popular.
We even received a couple of emails saying ‘we had a blast, we look forward to coming back next year.’”