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New hotels popping up all over Southwest Louisiana

Published: Sep. 11, 2015 at 9:51 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 10, 2015 at 10:51 PM CST
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Hotels in the Lake Charles area are filling up, and there are plenty of new ones under construction.

Hotel developers are building in Southwest Louisiana because of the upcoming economic boom. Workers are moving to the Lake Area at a high rate but many are struggling to find a place to stay. Right now, there are four hotels in Lake Charles under construction and one in Westlake.

Nick Zaver owns several hotels in Southwest Louisiana and has a Best Western Plus under construction in Lake Charles.

"The time is right. We're seeing the industrial growth," said Zaver.

Aside from studies showing that the return on the investment is worth it, he already has proof of his own. Occupancy at his hotels are at 70 to 80 percent.

"It's increased tremendously. We're up 20 percent ADR and 25 percent in occupancy," said Zaver.

Karen Clapp with Go Group tells us there are currently 59 hotels in Southwest Louisiana and a need for more. Lake Charles has become a destination for tourism with the casinos and sports tournaments that are being held here.

Clapp said many of these hotels are filling up with temporary workers who won't need places to stay several years down the road.

"The need for temporary housing is so great. We are short, according to our temporary housing study, 10 thousand units. So that pretty much equates to 10 thousand hotel rooms," said Clapp. "You don't want to build a lot of permanent structures that one day will become vacant. It's not a smart way to grow for Southwest Louisiana."

Zaver doesn't think this will be an issue. He sees the demand and thinks the investment will be worth it.

"With the ball fields and soccer tournaments and things like that, there's always a demand of different customer basis that I think in the future, we're prime to take on anybody that comes to visit," said Zaver.

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