LUBBOCK, Texas — Graduations are bringing more people to the city, and the hospitality industry has more business than they expected.
Tiffany Walker, community director of Pioneer Pocket Hotel, said they have seen a difference in business.
“We have been overwhelmed with the amount of people traveling and coming through Lubbock,” said Walker.
Walker said this time last year all their reservations, aside from one, were canceled because of COVID-19. Hotels were hit hard when graduations were virtual, and people stayed home. But this year is a drastically different story.
“It is amazing. Last weekend with Tech having their makeup graduation has been fabulous,” said Walker. “I’m so glad that our guest from last year had a chance to make another appearance to come back around again. And of course this year we’re sold out.”
Walker, like many hotels and restaurants, said people began traveling and more mobile over the past few weeks as summer gets closer.
The increase in business means more workers are needed. Hotels have been able to operate on minimal staff, but now need all hands on deck.
General Manager Marcus Latner, of Cotton Court Hotel, said they have begun to hire new employees.
“The only struggle right now for the past 4 to 6 weeks has been just trying to get people hired. That’s been difficult,” said Lanter.
Latner said they are hiring across the board from the front desk to servers in the restaurant, but they haven’t been able to get the positions filled.
“Getting people through the doors. Getting people fully hired. And then working we’ve been having a little bit of a struggle in all of our hotels. Just getting people hired,” said Lanter.