INDIAN SHORES, Fla. — Pinellas County hotels experienced a record breaking spring break in March and Legacy Vacation Resorts in Indian Shores saw that boon continue for April, according to General Manager Mark Xenophon.

"We ran 90 percent occupancy for March and then 89 percent for April," he said. "Which is basically a 20 percent increase on the April side of things from pre-covid. So, it's been a fantastic year."

What You Need To Know

  • Legacy Vacation Resort saw a new trend where guests stayed for weeks

  • Legacy Vacation Resorts attracts eco-tourists by being enrolled in the benefit corporation program

  • Resort expects strong numbers to continue throughout year

According to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, hotels in Pinellas County had an occupancy rate of 84.2 percent in March, beating the statewide average of 81 percent. Hotel revenue also reached $156.8 million, up 43 percent over 2021.

Xenophon credits some of the success to Legacy Vacation Resorts attracting eco-tourists. 

The resort has been enrolled in the benefit corporation program. A global non-profit that certifies businesses every three years who meet high standards of social and environmental performance.

"We are making a positive impact not only on our guests, the environment, our associates but the community as well," said Xenophon. "It's exciting to be a part of that to help educate the traveler that they do have options." ​

Xenophon said the company pays employees for 8 hours so they can volunteer for a day somewhere in the community. They also adopted one mile of beach to clean monthly.

"We'll do two hours worth of cleanup up and down the beach and then also on the intracoastal side. I think last time we did it, we got about 79 pounds worth of trash," said Xenophon. "The community aspect for us is actually our biggest score for B-Corp. and it's something we really drive home with our associates and they embrace it."

At the resort, there's no single use plastics on the property, all 40 rooms got new shower heads to conserve water, the rooms will also get new carpet made from recycled fishing nets and solar panels are being installed to reach net-zero, according to Xenophon. 

"Our electric car chargers, 'hey, you guys you guys have a car charger? I'm definitely coming in for that,'" he said. "They see some of the stuff that we're doing from a solar perspective as well, that it's just part of our core value." ​

Xenophon said a new trend he saw this year were guests staying for weeks, instead of days. The G.M. attributes that to more people working from home. ​

"We're seeing an extension of the length of stay," he said. "We've got people staying with us for three weeks." ​

Xenophon said August and September have historically been the slowest months of the year but he expects the strong numbers to continue in 2022.

"The spring break months were great for us but we're seeing that throughout the entire year," he said. "Once where we used to be dead slow or maybe running 30 or 40 percent occupancy, we're now looking at 60 or 65 percent throughout the off season."​