DAYTONA BEACH – As the procession of thousands of jeeps left the world’s most famous beach on Sunday, the area’s hotel owners and tourist-related businesses applauded the impact of the annual Jeep Beach, a week-long gathering that attracted an estimated 200,000 visitors and 20,000 brand-specific vehicles.
“It’s been a great week,” said Rob Burnetti, manager of 212 Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores. That hotel was among many that were booked for the event, especially during its closing weekend.
“We had a lot of Jeep Beach people selling out for the weekend, so it was good business all the way around,” Burnetti said. “With (average daily room rates) it was very similar to what we’ve seen all year, an escalation compared to previous years.”
The story was the same in hotels owned and operated by Ormond Beach-based Elite Hospitality Inc., says Manoj Bhoola, the company’s President and CEO.
Elite’s list of hotels in the area includes Ormond Beach Best Western Castillo Del Sol; Best Western Plus International Speedway; Hampton Inn by Hilton Daytona Speedway Airport; and Hilton Garden Inn at Daytona Beach International Airport.
“The Jeep Beach event had a positive impact on the occupancy and prices of our three International Speedway hotels,” said Bhoola. “It’s an important recurring event that filled our hotels and restaurants and gave us crucial revenue to continue to recover from the pandemic.”
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Now in its 19th year, Jeep Beach has become a beloved annual gathering due to its eager national fan base that shows up in large numbers filling the area’s hotel rooms and restaurants, as well as the event’s focus on raising money for worthy causes.
Incorporated as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity in 2017, Jeep Beach has donated over $ 2.8 million to charities in the area over the past decade through the event’s annual week-long fundraiser. Recipients include the boys ‘and girls’ clubs in Volusia & Flagler counties; NASCAR Foundation; the Childhood Cancer Foundation, as well as more than 30 additional non-profit groups.
In 2021, the event raised a record $ 500,000 for charity.
More:Jeep Beach 2021 organizers raised a record $ 500,000 to the community, planning to continue growing
On Monday, Charlene Greer, the event’s CEO and chairman, said this year’s event is ready to match that figure or potentially top it.
“It usually takes a month for us to tune our records, but we really expect to see the same power generated from the Jeep Beach 2021,” said Greer. “The event was extremely successful and was well received by everyone who participated in our festivities. We also received fantastic feedback from our community as a whole. “
The date for next year’s 20th anniversary edition of the event is set for April 23-30, 2023, she said.
“We are honored to represent our beautiful community where we all work, live and play,” Greer said.
“Wonderful, wonderful people”
The event’s impact on the area’s businesses and charities was also praised by Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Lodging & Hospitality Association of Volusia County.
“It was another successful Jeep Beach week,” Davis said. “They are wonderful, wonderful people who were all over Volusia County in restaurants, gift shops and hotels. It had a huge monetary impact on our area. We are happy to have them and we will be happy to have them back.”
In the restaurant business, Jeep Beach fans offered a boost to business at the Charlie Horse Restaurant, a family-owned fixture for more than 25 years on State Road A1A in Ormond Beach.
“It’s a nice audience and we’re always happy to have them,” said Lori Dupree, general manager. “We have not had a chance to look at the numbers yet, but we know we definitely saw increased sales.”
At the Hard Rock Hotel, which hosted a two-day “Jeeps At the Rock” beach party in connection with the event, occupancy under Jeep Beach was 98%, said Androse Bell, general manager. In addition, the average daily room rate during the event jumped from $ 230 in 2021 to almost $ 300 in the past week, he said.
Jeeps At the Rock:Jeep Beach 2022 takes the party to the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach
Some of the hotel’s revenue generated under Jeep Beach was donated to the event’s charity, Bell added.
“Demand was through the roof,” Bell said. “Hopefully it went well for many local restaurants and shops as well. They (Jeep Beach visitors) came to spend some money.”
At One Daytona, which also hosted a Jeep Beach event across the street from Daytona International Speedway, the rooms at the Daytona Marriott Autograph Collection hotel and Fairfield Inn & Suites were sold out, said Nancy Guran, sales manager for both hotels.
“Jeep Beach, as always, filled both of our hotels Thursday through Sunday and offered some high-occupancy dates earlier this week,” Guran said.
Nearby, Jeep Beach also offered a boost at the 64-room Quality Inn Daytona Speedway, across the street from Daytona International Speedway, even though occupancy failed with the prices generated by the event in previous years, said Deborah Bailey, general manager.
“We could have done better; we were not completely sold out, ”said Bailey. “Still, it was a good event and we enjoyed it all. We did not sell out any day (on the final weekend), but we managed. It was still an excellent event.”