The Longview hotel market outperformed other Oil Patch communities in revenue percent growth in the first quarter of this year, and a mid-March storm in Kilgore could have boosted both revenues and occupancy rates.

The storm “drove a lot of people to our area (hotels),” said Sam Cooper, general manager at the 121-room Holiday Inn North on Tuttle Circle in Longview. “The hotels in Kilgore were all oversold” after the storm.

The March 14 storm destroyed an estimated 10 homes in Kilgore and did “substantial” damage to 40 others, Kilgore Mayor Ronnie Spradlin said at the time.

Cooper, who works for International Hotel Group, which owns seven hotels in Longview, was responding to a report issued this week by Source Strategies Inc., a full-service hotel consultancy based in San Antonio.

Paul Vaughn, senior vice president at Source Strategies, said a disaster such as the Kilgore storm or the one May 8 in Longview could increase hotel revenues and occupancy rates, with homeowners along with insurance adjusters and contractors filling hotel rooms.

However, Vaughn said, “We don’t track drives of (demand for hotels). We report on the numbers but can’t tell you why.”

Source Strategies reported revenues in the Longview market were 15.8 percent higher in the first quarter compared with a year ago, followed by 15.4 percent in San Angelo and 12 percent in Odessa.

Revenues exceeded $10.1 million in the Longview market for January through March of this year while the occupancy rate increased to 58.2 percent from 54.3 percent a year ago, according to data Vaughn supplied.

The Longview market consists of Longview and neighboring communities such as Kilgore and Gladewater, and revenues and occupancy rates fared even better within Longview, Vaughn’s data show. Revenues increased by 16.4 percent to more than $7.7 million during the first quarter within Longview compared with 2018, and the occupancy rate increased from 54.6 percent to 58.4 percent.

During the 12 months that ended March 31, revenues increased by 10.9 percent to more than $41.1 million in the Longview market and by 11.1 percent to nearly $31.2 million within the city.

During the 12-month period, the occupancy rate climbed to 56.2 percent from 52.7 percent in the Longview market and from 53.2 percent to 56.5 percent within the city.

Vaughn’s report says the market consists of 3,093 hotel rooms, including 2,215 within the city.