Merriam sees increase in people dropping in at visitors bureau

The Merriam Visitors Center works with the five area hotels to host Merriam visitors.
The Merriam Visitors Center works with the five area hotels to host Merriam visitors.

The Merriam Visitors Bureau report for 2015 shows that occupancy rate fell slightly at the city’s five hotels last year, but revenue was higher as a result of a higher daily rates.

The visitors bureau report showed that it assisted 748 people dropping in to the Merriam Historic Plaza – up from about 600 last year –  and provided free rides to the Big 12 Tournament to 124 riders. The bureau distributed more than 10,000 visitor guides and had more than 1,000 tour group participants.

More than 400 people also used the meeting room at the plaza.

The bureau also instituted a summer promotion – Passport to Merriam – for families last year that encouraged stops at six attractions.

The overnight guest tax at the city’s hotels pay for the visitors bureau operation. The average daily rate at the city hotels moved up to $69.77 in 2015. The city hotels had seen a big jump in occupancy in 2014, some of which was attributed to the IKEA opening.