BUFFALO, N.Y. — Because of everything happening in Buffalo this weekend, the majority of the hotel rooms in the city are booked.

On Friday, 2 On Your Side went to Western New York's tourism expert to find out what the future holds for Buffalo's hotel industry.

"This is a perfect storm for tourism," says Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.

With the Presidents' Day holiday, the pond hockey tournament at RiverWorks, and swimming and diving championships at Erie Community College, Buffalo's hotels are booked solid.

"It's great to have a weekend like this to show that Buffalo is a viable place to hold your meeting and convention, your sporting event in the month of February," Kaler said.
As of December, Visit Buffalo Niagara says there are 2,385 hotel rooms in Buffalo. That's counting everything from the boutique hotels to the larger ones, such as the Buffalo Grand Hotel, which has 400 rooms.

With all the events going on, and more groups looking at Buffalo venues, Kaler says it's a good thing there are plans for more hotels to open in Buffalo.

"The Aloft Hotel that will be opening on Pearl, that is our major property that will be opening in 2019. We continue to monitor what's happening with the AM&A's and the Trico building for future development in downtown," Kaler said.

"It makes some of the older properties step up their game, as well, because we do have such new inventory. So, so many of our properties that might be on the aging side are changing and putting in some new soft goods, doing some renovations."

Kaler says one example is the new Residence Inn on Delaware, a former Holiday Inn, rebuilt from the ground up.

And, as always, Visit Buffalo Niagara is looking ahead.

"What happens with the future of the convention center, if it grows, we will need some additional hotel rooms that will be associated with that depending on where it goes," Kaler said. "I'm just encouraged that so many hotel developers are considering Buffalo, they are investing in Buffalo, and giving us these new brands, this new inventory that we have."