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St. Augustine sees record January tourism numbers

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Updated: 2/21 9:27 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Hilton Historic Bayfront Hotel is just one of dozens of hotels in St. Augustine bringing in more guests this year. Numbers from January show tourism scored big in the nation's oldest city.

"Normally if we have a cold January we don't do as well, as we've done in other Januarys but this January was a total exception," said Bob O'Neil.

O'Neil, Hilton's general manager, said his hotel saw an income increase of 10 percent in January.

St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and Beaches, Visitors and Convention Bureau Executive Director Richard Goldman said heavy marketing and the city's huge Nights of Lights event helped draw crowds.

"The last three Januarys have shown improvement. This particular one though set a record," said Goldman.

Action News obtained the numbers from the Visitors and Convention Bureau.

The city hit a record of more than 98,424 rooms sold per night compared to just a little more than 94,232 last year.

"We see increased demand, with higher occupancy and higher room rates," said O'Neil.

O'Neil said the increase creates jobs in the area.

"For every 85 new visitors, a new job is generated," said Goldman.
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imtellin - 2/22/2014 7:43 AM
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oh hogwash,,, yankees simply decided 30 degrees above zero, was a whole lot better than 30 degrees below zero !!! add the fact that we don't have snow & to them folks, 30 degrees above, seems like a heat wave .... its got nothing to do with lighting the place up like an italian picnic !!! and those of us locals hovering in our homes around the kerosene heaters, wrapped in blankets because it was too cold to venture out most of january,, that left the downtown to the suckers who overpaid to come & not enjoy the best we have to offer... but the politicians & hotel owners in st. john's would put lipstick on a pig & call it rachel welch, add a bikini and they'ld be calling her beyonce !!!!
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