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Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013
Matt Sease, general manager of the Super 8 Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, and treasurer of the Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association (MLHA), will testify this morning at a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The hearing, convened by subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), will examine several bills introduced in the aftermath of the recent federal government shutdown, including the Protecting States, Opening National Parks Act (H.R. 3286) introduced by Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT).
MLHA is a partner state association of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry that supports 1.8 million jobs at 52,529 properties comprised of 4.9 million rooms.
“Have no doubt: the government shutdown had an incredible impact on our state’s economy and the Montana brand – because for millions of visitors, the parks are Montana, and Montana is the parks,” said Sease in his opening testimony. “It is incredibly important to understand just how far-reaching the effect of the shutdown has been to our state’s brand. For many of us, when the shutdown ended on October 17, the impact did not.”
“The recent government shutdown was an extremely costly period for hoteliers in Montana, a state whose economy is heavily dependent on 11 million annual visitors with an economic impact of $3.25 billion,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “As Chairman Bishop and the members of the subcommittee will learn today from the testimony of Matt Sease and other witnesses, Montana’s lodging industry and the entire national economy cannot withstand the negative impacts of another government shutdown.”
“The bill introduced by Congressman Daines will provide important protections for hoteliers across the country,” continued Lugar, “and we are grateful to the subcommittee for devoting significant attention at today’s hearing to the benefits it can provide.”
According to 2011 statistics compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Montana lodging industry is responsible for 11,352 jobs and $288 million in wages. As of July 2013, there were 450 lodging properties across Montana, comprised of 28,473 rooms. Smith Travel Research (STR) reports that total room revenue generated by the state’s lodging industry in 2012 was $515.9 million.