Hotels along the I-77 corridor between Akron and Canton have been feeling the downturn in the oil and gas industry. In the last few years, more than a dozen hotels opened in that area, mainly to serve that industry’s boom in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Now, there are too many rooms and not enough customers.
STR Global, a company that tracks the hotel industry, says between 2014 and last year, hotel occupancy in the Akron area dropped about 6 percent. In Canton, the drop was about the same.
Daniel DeHoff of North Canton's Dehoff Development Company, has experienced the decline in stays at the hotel the company opened in 2007.
“It was to accommodate the need of the local businesses in the area. The additional hotels that were built recently, I’d say since 2014, were really built to accommodate the Utica shale use. And as we all know, it’s no surprise that that has not flourished as expected.”
Dehoff says there has been a slight increase recently in oil and gas company employees staying at his hotel. He believes that’s due to movement in the NEXUS and Rover pipeline projects.