Detroit Lakes-area hotels reported a sharp decrease in revenue per available room (RevPAR) during a Detroit Lakes Tourism Bureau meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

RevPAR measures a hotel's performance and is calculated by multiplying the average daily room rate and the hotel's occupancy rate. Hotels use this RevPAR calculation to budget their staffing and expenses.

During the meeting, area-hotels reported a RevPAR decrease of about 30% year-to-date and recommended budgeting for the next several months at -35% to offset the decreased revenue.

"The rest of the state, I'm seeing down 75%, RevPAR in Minneapolis, so most of (the hotels around the state) are in the 50s" said Doug Anselmin, general manager at the Holiday Inn - Lakefront. "Duluth is the only other market on this hospitality report that is very similar to what we're doing, they are down 32.1% year-to-date in RevPAR."

He also said corporatewide, some of the larger hotel chains are reporting losses of 45% to 50%.

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"The good news to take away there is, yes, we're down, but we're not bleeding as bad as a lot of the rest of the markets," said Anselmin

Additionally, the tourism bureau approved $1,500 for the "Poles N' Holes" ice fishing derby scheduled to take place on Feb. 6, 2021 as part of Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest. Organizers requested the funds to advertise in the Fargo-Moorhead-area, as well as increasing their digital presence online, according to the funding request.

"We have been working, and meeting, and planning for a fishing derby we, frankly, just hope we can have," said Brent Gerber, a Poles N' Holes ice fishing derby organizer. "We're working with the health department, and we feel very strongly, that by February, this town, this area, is going to need stuff to do to get outside and do things."

Last year, the ice fishing derby brought in more than $32,500, according to their funding request, but, with the state's continued COVID-19 restrictions expected, questions remain about how many participants will be allowed in the competition and how many hotel rooms are expected to be rented out.

The ice fishing derby will continue the following week virtually through an app called Fish Donkey. Gerber said prizes for the virtual derby winners will be mailed out in the form of gift cards.