Energy Workers Fill Casper Hotels

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Casper -(KCWY) "They're getting ready and they are getting geared up because we are going to have a tsunami of people hit Casper market, a tsunami of people,” said Nickie Davis the Casper Ramada Plaza Hotel owner.

Casper's economy has depended on the energy sector for years, and it's no different for the hotel industry. Some say the demand for hotels in Casper has only just begun.

"It's amazing how quickly we can go from zero to full in a day,” said Karin East with the Best Western Ramkota.

Energy workers fill local hotels year round. When conferences and big events hit Casper, the search for a room can be even more difficult.

"Sometimes you have to shuffle rooms around; you have to make some tough decisions," said Justin Lewis with Timberline Hospitalities.

Some hotel owners say that almost 100% of their business comes from the energy industry and as the demand increases across the city and surrounding areas tourists may find it even harder to find a room

"Last week when we were looking at our forecast for this week we were sitting at 50 percent occupancy we have been full for the last 3 nights,” said East.

With the growing cost of living and the lack of apartments in Casper, many companies decide to choose hotels over apartments. Hotel owners aren't complaining.

"There is such a housing shortage in Casper right now we do house a lot of energy related business that would love to have apartments to stay in, but they just aren't building them fast enough,” said Renee Penton-Jones the sales director at the Best Western Ramkota.

It's even tougher to book a room in outlying areas of the state like Gillette, Douglas, and Rock Springs. Davis owns a hotel in Casper and Douglas. She says her Douglas property has rooms reserved for four years, and businesses signing contracts for 16 years. She expects the same in Casper.

"Oil, coal, gas, uranium, wind that is who fills my hotel, that's who pays all of our paychecks, it's energy,” said Davis.