Everyone knows Charlotte had a banner year in 2011, largely because of the DNC.
But even without the convention, Charlotte broke records last year.
The Hampton Inn uptown has been there since 2001. General Manager Kiesha Lightner said last year was their best on record because of consistent business all year long, on weekends and during the week.
“The demand was there,” Lightner said. “That's what made it great. The market was just booming.”
Booming so much that the Charlotte area saw a record in room nights sold last year -- 7.3 million with the DNC.
But take away the convention, and it still was a record year with 7.26 million rooms booked.
“The good news is it wasn't just a DNC phenomenon -- the market's really doing quite well and beyond our pre-recession levels at this point,” said Tom Murray, the CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
Murray said the Charlotte market is improving faster than the rest of the country.
But is it improving fast enough to realistically be considered for a Super Bowl?
Some city leaders think so, but even hotel workers said Charlotte isn't ready yet.
“We need more hotels in the uptown area to bring the Super Bowl,” Lightner said.
More hotels and hotels with 1,000-plus rooms. The biggest in uptown right now is the Westin, with 700 rooms.