Staycationers Love the Omni, Which Is One Reason it's Doing Better Than Expected After Its First Year

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On Sunday, the Omni will have been opened a full year. That's long enough that the does-the-city-have-any-business-owning-a-hotel debate has died away, replaced by artists dreaming of all the cool shit they can do with those lights.

The hotel has a slate of offerings Sunday to commemorate its 11/11/11 debut. An $11.11 bucket of beer from The Owner's Box? Check. A $111 Swedish massage/manicure at Mokara? Yep. An $11.11, farm-to-table meal of shrimp and grits and chicken-fried steak? That too.

The anniversary is being celebrated in less obnoxiously numbered ways too, namely by sending a press release bragging about how well the hotel is doing.

Since January 1, 361,000 people have stayed at the hotel, purchasing $24.5 million worth of food and drinks and occupying an average of 67.9 percent of the rooms. Gross operating revenue was $61.4 million, and net earnings were a shade over $18 million.

That last number is the only one that really matters, of course, and, seeing as it came in a good 20 percent higher than initial projections, it's a sign that the hotel is doing well. Damn well, even.

Ed Netzhammer, the Omni's managing director, said the hotel's better-than-expected performance is due to a number of things. The hotel market in Dallas citywide has been strong for the past year, and the Omni has managed to pull in extra convention and group business.

The biggest surprise comes in the "leisure/transient" category -- people staying at the Omni for pleasure. The projection was for 41,045 room nights. There were actually 64,572, helping drive up sales of food and drink.

That was a huge leap, but more surprising to Netzhammer was where a large percentage of those guests were coming from: Dallas. That's right. The Omni is Dallas' premier staycation destination. Twice as many of the leisure/transient guests came from here than from any other place.

No doubt that number will drop once the novelty of the place wears off, but Netzhammer says the Omni is well positioned to stay ahead of expectations. Already, reservations and other leading indicators hint that next year will be better than the last.

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