LSU may have been trounced on the field, but having Alabama come to town was a winner for Baton Rouge area hotels, which earned $3 million over the Nov. 3 weekend, the highest-grossing weekend of 2018.
The number comes from the reported revenues of 75 hotels in East Baton Rouge Parish. About 86% of the 8,800 available rooms were occupied Friday, Visit Baton Rouge confirms, while 93% were occupied Saturday.
For reference, the off-weekend preceding the Alabama game—Oct. 26-27—garnered about $1.1 million for the city, says Visit Baton Rouge President Paul Arrigo, noting that off-weekends can still be revenue-generators for hotels because that’s usually when people book weddings and reunions.
Hotels have had several big weekends this year, says Arrigo, tied to LSU home football games.
The Georgia game brought in a little over $2.5 million over the Oct. 12-13 weekend, while the same weekend a year ago—when LSU hosted Ole Miss—generated just $1.9 million. This year’s Mississippi State weekend raked in some $2 million for hoteliers.
“People came for the Georgia game that hadn’t been in Baton Rouge for 10 years and we got to introduce a new market to our culture and gameday experience,” says Arrigo, speaking to how LSU games give Baton Rouge a chance to showcase itself to out-of-state visitors. “Same with Mississippi, and Alabama is always a hyped game. Those could be repeat visitors.”