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After a “very, very busy” summer travel season that propelled the company to “almost recovered” status in the post-COVID era, the chairman of Omni Hotels & Resorts predicts that the steady pace of travel will continue into this year’s holiday season.

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“People have spent the last two Christmases away from their family, away from their friends. I believe that no matter what it costs, there will be a need for people to come together,” Omni’s Peter Strebel said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo’s FOX Business Tuesday on Morning with Maria.

Airfare is up more than 33% year-on-year, with more Americans starting to plan ahead for vacation trips, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Strebel says high inflation, which has been high for decades, won’t affect Omni bookings. expectation.

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“I think the cost will definitely be a lot more than it was,” Strebel said. “Our customer base is a little more about luxury. Therefore, inflation does not affect us so much.”

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Since May of this year, Omni has reportedly been exceeding its 2019 profit peaks on a monthly basis, its chairman said, noting that tourist travel has returned to a “stable” pace following the shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been very, very busy and it’s good to see that. We are almost fully staffed,” Strebel said. “So I think the business is almost ready, almost recovered, and on the way.”

With more than 50 properties across North America, Strebel has fueled Omni’s significant revenue growth through “untapped demand” for group and business travel in the wake of the pandemic.

“The reason for group travel is to introduce new products, bring people together, boost morale and build a corporate culture,” Strebel explained. “And it’s kind of been dead for almost two years now… And it looks like there’s an urge to get people back together.”

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To keep up with the growing demand for travel, the Omni chairman noted that the company is working on several projects to create or reimagine the real estate experience, including two new hotels in Texas and Arizona, a location expansion in Orlando, and a massive restoration of one of America’s oldest hotels in Virginia. .

“We didn’t stop during COVID. We continued to build and renovate our hotels,” Strebel said. “The oldest resort in America is The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. And we are actually spending $140 million refurbishing this hotel, restoring its original architecture, atmosphere and appearance. And it will be completed next spring.”

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