Cape Girardeau: A True Regional Hub

Submitted Article by Chuck Martin, Executive Director
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

For the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) ended June 30, 2012. In looking back, our hotels were up 8.33% versus FY11. Our restaurants were up 5.03%. In a nutshell, FY12 was a very strong year for the hospitality industry in Cape Girardeau. Encouragingly, through the first quarter of FY13, that strong performance is continuing, with our hotels up an amazing 11.08% year to date and our restaurants are up 5.98% as compared to the same quarter in FY12.

So, what is accounting for last year’s and this year’s strong performance? When you take a look at the top market drivers for our hospitality industry, it becomes crystal clear that Cape Girardeau is a true regional hub.

Leisure Travel – In taking a look at the past year, we had overnight guests from all 50 states, a majority of Canadian provinces, as well as several foreign countries. Those guests include individual and family leisure travelers, bank travel groups, senior travel groups, and transient travelers along Interstate 55.

Construction – There have been a number of major construction projects in our community that have resulted in hundreds of overnight room stays; projects such as Isle of Capri, Menard’s, Chick-Fil-A, Saint Francis Medical Center, as well as numerous other moderate and major remodels.

Amateur Sports Market – The Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department has premiere sports facilities, including the Shawnee Sports Complex. Combine Shawnee with the Show Me Center, Southeast Missouri State University and Dalhousie and literally thousands of competitors have played and continue to play in Cape Girardeau. Those facilities have hosted youth baseball, softball, and soccer, collegiate competitors, regional and state golf tournaments, Missouri State High School Activities Association State Tournaments, Special Olympics State Outdoor Championships, and much more.

Medical – According to the Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET’s website, more than 4,400 people from throughout our area are employed by just our two major medical facilities: Saint Francis Medical Center and SoutheastHEALTH. In addition to those two facilities there are numerous other physician and medical specialists’ offices throughout our community. Our medical industry has an enormous regional draw that literally brings thousands of people into Cape Girardeau each month for quality care. Many of those that come, come from far enough way that we see numerous overnight stays from family members that are here with loved ones receiving some type of medical care.

Social Market – The Social Market includes weddings, reunions, anniversaries, banquets, receptions, civic, social, and service club regional and statewide meetings, entertainment, etc. Because of our central location and again, because we serve as a regional hub for our area, offering 900+ total rooms, 120+ restaurants, and 500+ stores, the social market is yet another strong market segment.

Corporate – Procter & Gamble, Mondi (formerly Nordenia), BioKyowa, Newell Rubbermaid, Buzzi Unicem, and other corporations that have a significant manufacturing presence in the Cape Girardeau-Jackson-Scott City area all contribute significant room nights. With corporate headquarters not only in the United States, but in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Italy, Cape Girardeau’s hospitality industry benefits greatly from national and international corporate business travel.

Take a look around…we have a lot to be proud of! The bottom line is that Cape Girardeau is a vibrant, growing community that serves as a true regional hub on many levels. Whatever brings visitors here – leisure travel, construction jobs, sporting events, medical needs, social events, or corporate business travel, the staff of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau is dedicated to providing exceptional service with warm hospitality. Our organization provides a variety of comprehensive resources to all guests. Whether seeking information on sites and events, or facilities and amenities, our Visitors Guide, Sports Facility Guide, Meeting Planners Guide, Tour Itinerary Planner, Quick Reference for Tour Planners, as well as a wealth of other information, can all be found on and downloaded from our website at VisitCape.com. Additional help is a phone call (573-335-1631 / 800-777-0068) or an e-mail away (info@visitcape.com).