COCOA BEACH, Florida — February should be a good month for Brevard County hoteliers thanks to a change in the Daytona 500 schedule in nearby Daytona Beach and a delay of the launch of the Atlas V rocket in Cape Canaveral according to Tom Williamson, President of the Cocoa Beach Hotel and Lodging Association.
The 54th Annual Daytona 500 was moved up a week in 2012 from years past to help coincide with the broadcast schedule on FOX Sports.
“A number of factors will actually help stretch this period [February] to be stronger that previous year,” Williamson said, “First, the postponed Atlas V launch bumped into last weekend helped compress [the number of hotels available in] the area because support and contract personnel had to stay over in many cases. These companies occupy a lot of rooms for these launches.
Second, President’s Day weekend captures leisure travelers regardless of the race; and third, this coming weekend will be very busy because of the Daytona 500.
When you add those factors to a robust cruise market, which is consistently driving strong weekend business, especially Friday nights, February should end up being a very strong month.”
Brevard County hotels annually catch Daytona 500 guest overflow where comparable rooms can run $100 less per night than hotels in the immediate Daytona Beach area.
This year, Daytona 500 race fans may also catch the launch of the Atlas V rocket which currently has a 44-minute launch window beginning at 5:15 p.m E.S.T. on Friday, February 24.
UPDATE: DAYTONA 500 11:35 AM Traffic Update