February 14, 2011

Extra Month Slows Passover Bookings but Optimism Persists

 New York…So where will you be this Passover (eve of April 18th through April 26th)? Organizers of Passover programs throughout the world say that a large number of people have still not made up their mind. One promoter said that the “leap year can be your worst nightmare, since so many people believe they have time.” Travel sources estimate that as many as 50,000 people spend Passover in hotels which this year will include properties in New York’s Catskill Mountains, Lancaster PA, Asbury NJ, Orlando FL, Phoenix AZ, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Miami Beach FL, Poconos PA, Boca Raton FL, Stamford CT, Niagara Falls NY, and Palm Springs CA. International destinations include Israel, Italy, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Crete. The lucrative Passover programs did take somewhat of a hit in the past two years due to the recession but operators expect a major rebound this year, hoping that the late date will play in their favor. Many of the programs are in world-class properties that this year includes the Westin Beach Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, which recently underwent a $160 million makeover. The program at the Westin is sponsored by Majestic Retreats, headed by Avi Faskowitz. Kosher purveyors say that they have already received larger orders than in 2010, another sign that the Passover hotel program is heading for a good year.