With the popularity of fishing tournaments on Lake Okeechobee, hotels in Clewiston find themselves consistently booked up during events. So, to meet the rising demand for accommodation, the city is planning to build two new hotels.
Clewiston City Manager, Randy Martin, emphasized the need for more lodging options in town, saying, “Hotels are staying completely full during peak seasons,”. Martin says the limited number of hotel rooms has resulted in many tournament attendees staying somewhere else during the events.
“They may be here during the day, but if they're staying an hour away, they're not going to expend as many resources in the local community,” Martin explained. He highlighted the economic importance of the fishing tournaments, noting the impact on a variety of business sectors such as restaurants, ice suppliers, and fueling stations. “All of those businesses benefit from having that economic boost from a tournament,” he added.
So, Martin says the city found developers to build two new hotels to allow more people to stay in town during events. One of the developments will replace an outdated, one-story facility, while the second hotel will be strategically located off State Road 27 as you come into town.
Martin outlined the timeline for the project, saying the hotels should be built and ready for booking in around two years. He expressed optimism about the impact the hotels could have on the city.
“If we can improve the accommodations and these amenities and access and all the things we're working on, then we can see the market grow to meet the demand growing,” Martin stated.