By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hotel operators in Philadelphia say the pace of bookings is slowing, and they blame labor issues at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
General mangers of big hotels in the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association are telling the Board of Directors at the Center that meeting planners are ranting about work rule issues and high labor costs.
“We need to see some improvement, or our industry will be in trouble,” says Hotel Association Executive Director Ed Grose.
He also says that looking out to 2014, 15 and 16, the “booking pace is significantly behind target” numbers.
“Despite all of the positives about our city, they’re not coming back because of the high cost of doing business, and the service they received from labor at the building.”
Some key conventions are not re-booking. Among them is True Value, which brought 12,000 hardware attendees last year but canceled for 2015. Another, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, had a convention scheduled for 2014, but the hotel association says they canceled because of labor issues—even despite expensive cancellation fees.