Despite the local surge in hotel construction, occupancy continues to remain above this time last year, according to the most recent report from the College of Charleston Office of Tourism Analysis.
Among the findings:
The occupancy rate for Charleston County in August was 75.4 percent, or 0.6 percent higher than the same period of 2015.
The average daily room rate was $141.04, up 3.1 percent.
The total number of available rooms was 16,038, a gain of 517 since August 2015.
Meanwhile, the number of hotels planned for the peninsula continues to swell. The list now includes at least five hotels under construction or expanding and another 13 in the planning stages. If all are built, they would add about 2,000 rooms in downtown Charleston.
City officials and community leaders have been studying how to deal with the growth. The most recent action was an ordinance that says a new hotel can’t displace office space or housing.
An upscale Charleston hotel will add an unusual spin to one of Charleston’s major annual tourist events this year.
A display of surreal animals at The Vendue, which bills itself as “Charleston’s Art Hotel,” will tie in with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in February. SEWE features art of all styles in hotels and other venues throughout the city. The three day-event draws more than 40,000 visitors, according to organizers.
“With the Southeastern Wildlife Expo bringing to town some wonderful and well-respected wildlife artists, I’m hoping Lions and Tigers and Bears will add an unexpected component to the traditional representations of animals,” hotel art director Emily Rigsby said. “Imagine a hyperrealistic painting of a pug wearing goggles, standing next to SpongeBob SquarePants and surrounded by stacks of gumdrops. We want to bring the unexpected and the whimsical into the Charleston art scene.”
One of the featured artists for The Vendue’s show is Kevin Taylor, a Wando High School graduate who spent much of his time skateboarding when not creating art or music. An art teacher at Wando told his mother she thought the kid must be on drugs (he wasn’t), according to a 2004 profile in The Post and Courier. Taylor went on to graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, eventually moved to California and achieved international fame with his imaginative compositions.
“I’m excited to be a part of the show at The Vendue,” Taylor said by email. “It’s always great to have a bit of business mixed in with a visit and I make a point to keep the connections I developed with my early collectors in my hometown which I remain very fond of.”
The “Lions and Tigers and Bears” exhibit opens Oct. 20 and runs through March. The hotel is on Vendue Range near Waterfront Park.
Veterans of the destroyer Laffey will hold a memorial service aboard the ship near the Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The service will honor the 32 sailors who died April 16, 1945, during an attack off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The service is part of the USS Laffey Association Reunion.
Patriot Point’s normal admission and parking fees will be in effect.
Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.