Federal Reserve Sees Uptick in Tourism and Other Economic Sectors
The Federal Reserve Beige book is a report of economic activity in the Federal Reserve Board’s 12 Districts around the country. Their most recent observations released yesterday (April 14) confirmed an uptick in retail spending and improvement in the travel and tourism in most Districts. Not all economic sectors were up as the following report shows. But the news is better for travel and tourism.
The report on tourism found improvement in 7 of the 12 districts with improved occupancy levels at hotels in a number of major cities. Luxury properties were still discounting to stimulate demand however.
“Tourism conditions also improved during the reporting period. New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco pointed to signs of increased tourism activity. Tourism was described as stable in most parts of the Atlanta District. Hotel occupancy rates were rising in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Reports on room rates were mixed: New York and Kansas City noted increases, while Chicago reported rate cuts, particularly at luxury hotels. Managers at mountain resorts in the Richmond District reported that this winter was one of their best ski seasons ever. However, Atlanta noted that corporate bookings remained at very low levels at some high-end resorts.”
Economic activity by market sector showed mixed results.
“Districts generally reported increases in retail sales and vehicle sales. Tourism spending was up in a number of Districts. Reports on the services sector were generally mixed. Manufacturing activity increased in all Districts except St. Louis, and new orders were up. Many Districts reported increased activity in housing markets from low levels. Commercial real estate market activity remained very weak in most Districts. Activity in the banking and finance sector was mixed in a number of Districts, as loan volumes and credit quality decreased. Agricultural conditions were mixed as well, with positive conditions reported in Districts from the central and western parts of the country, while negative conditions were reported in the mid and southern Atlantic Districts. Mining and energy production and exploration increased for metals, oil and wind.”
Mysteriously, the Federal Reserve’s Report on outfitting was left out of this month’s report ?
To read the full report go to Beige Book.
Rockslide Cleared. Ocoee to Open this Weekend. I-40 Still Closed at NC Line.
With the rock slide cleared and mountain above the put-in to the Ocoee stabilized, the river will be open this weekend a month late. Outfitters credited the Tennessee Department of Transportation for their work after a slide in November closed U.S. 64, a major highway corridor through the southern Appalachian Mountains.
Three rock slides in Tennessee and western North Carolina during an unusually wet and cold winter have blocked 3 major highways for months. I-40 near the Tennessee, North Carolina line has been blocked since October 25th by successive slides and problems stabilizing the steep, rocky slopes over the Interstate. Crews have installed 424 of the 590 rock bolts needed to stabilize the mountain. NCDOT estimates that it will reopen I-40 by late April when work at the October rockslide site should be completed. At least one mile of the westbound lane closest to the mountain will be closed until this summer to allow crews to complete the work – including the installation of rock bolts and anchor mesh – at five additional sites.
U.S. 129 is also blocked by a slide, but this stretch of sinuous highway (known locally as The Dragon), a favorite of motorcyclists, is lightly traveled.
Colorado Governor Trying to Settle Float Issue on Taylor River
With a ballot initiative “Armageddon” facing voters over the navigability of streams in Colorado, Governor Bill Ritter says he is trying to broker a settlement. Only problem, his solution only applies to two miles of the Taylor River and the conflict impacts rivers statewide that have been floated for years. The Governor wants outfitters and landowners on the Taylor to kiss and makeup instead of pursuing ballot initiatives. 12 initiatives have been proposed for the November ballot although none have qualified as yet.
A developer along the Taylor River has threatened to pursue trespass violations against outfitters who have a permit to float the river for two hours per day. In Colorado, landowners claim ownership of the riverbed and rocks and may file suit or claim trespass violations if floaters touch the bottom, banks or rocks in the stream. Legislation to provide clear authority to float the state’s streams failed in the Senate after passing in the state’s House of Representatives.