Greater Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce to Host Economic Forecast Forum

Todd Deluca

HYANNIS – The Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce is hosting an economic forecast forum next week.

The session will discuss economic trends that will impact business in the Greater Hyannis area along with next year’s opportunities and potential obstacles. 

“We’re hoping to be able to give business leaders and community leaders an insight into 2019 about what they can expect in terms of opportunities and obstacles with economic trends for the area for the year,” said President and CEO of the Greater Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce Todd DeLuca.

DeLuca says that the economy is “generally good” for the area, but also insists that doesn’t mean the area is free of any obstacles to overcome.

“I think people generally feel good about the economy and are optimistic about this year. Having said that, I think that we do have bits of our economy in the Hyannis area that are red flags that we need to pay some attention to,” DeLuca explained.

“We sort of use the rooms tax and the meals tax as indicators of how the tourism industry is trending for us, and in Barnstable this past year we had a four-percent increase in our meals tax, but only a two-percent increase in the rooms tax.”

DeLuca adds that people are choosing different options and forming different trends. He says that the hotel business has felt the impact of home sharing options like AirBnB provide, indicated by the increase in the area’s meals tax against the smaller increase of the rooms tax.

“I think that people in the hotel business are doing a couple of things. We had a meeting amongst the people in this industry a few weeks back and we are looking at a renewed effort to market Hyannis as a place for families to come and spend a week and look at all the different rooming options,” said DeLuca.

“I think our hotels are starting to offer more. The Cape Codder is a perfect example. It offers some benefits that a person going to an AirBnB wouldn’t have, like the water park, like the crew wine bar.”

The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. Mark Melnik, is the Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute.  He also serves as Senior Managing Editor of MassBenchmarks, the journal on the Massachusetts economy.

Dr. Melnik holds a doctorate in sociology from Northeastern University. His dissertation explored skill and credential mismatches in the greater Boston labor market. He received his master of arts from Northeastern University and his bachelor of arts from Youngstown State University, both in sociology.

Also speaking will be David Pottier, CFO for MassDOT, who will touch on the Secretary of Transportation’s comments on the future of the Cape Cod bridges, discuss capital items for the Cape highlighted in the department’s 5 year plan and discuss short term capital projects planned and underway on the Cape.

Mark Skala will open the program with remarks on the forecast for non profits on Cape Cod. Mark is President and CEO of the Cape and Islands United way. 

The event will be held on January 23 and runs from 7:30 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa in Hyannis.

Admission to the event is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers. A full breakfast will also be served upon admission.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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