Updated: May 28, 2021 11:08 PM
Created: May 28, 2021 09:21 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Last year the pandemic virtually wiped out the tourism, travel, and hospitality industry. This year things couldn't be better. Hotel reservations are hard to come by as out-of-state vacationers return to the Finger Lakes Region once again.
Some local travel experts say if you haven't already booked your vacation in the Finger Lakes Region you might be out of luck. Many people were smart enough to book their reservations last year during the lockdown hoping things will be open this summer.
The hospitality industry is seeing a good rebound as the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend begins. Yates County Administrator Nonie Flynn says out-of-state visitors are once again flocking back to the Finger Lakes.
"People have discovered the Finger Lakes. A lot of people from New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh. They're all coming to the Finger Lakes. A lot of them are return staycationers where they booked vacation rentals last year, and they're back again this summer," Flynn said.
She goes on to say things are so good right now hotels reservations in her county are hard to come by.
"Our hotel bookings are starting to get back to normal," Flynn said. "They're not quite at the 2019 pre-pandemic levels, but our hotels are sold out every weekend."
Flynn says vacation rentals around Canandaigua, Keuka, and Seneca Lakes are being snapped up, but that's not all.
"We're seeing all three lakes are really booming, and I see the Village of Penn Yan. A lot of times I walk through downtown, and I see tons of people from out of town that are in our village going to our restaurants. Going into our little shops," Flynn said.
Ontario County is also cashing in this summer. Finger Lakes Visitor Connections' Valerie Knoblauch says hotels, Airbnb's, and traditional bed and breakfast sites will be filled as well, but there's still a way you can get a room.
"If you can make your getaway during the week you're gonna be served well by that," Knoblauch said.
She also told News10NBC, if you do want to vacation in the region you must plan ahead, and do some research.
"Going to the websites ahead of time, planning. Making sure that just because you had an experience at a place a few years ago, don't assume it's going to be the same type of experience," Knoblauch said.
Exactly one year ago Friday New Yorkers were just starting Phase 1 of the State's Reopening Plan.
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