Tupelo Furniture Market returns despite devastating tornado

A tornado passes near Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo during the statewide outbreak of April 28. Recovery and rebuilding has begun, but will likely take years to complete.

A tornado passes near Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo during the statewide outbreak of April 28. Recovery and rebuilding has begun, but will likely take years to complete.

TUPELO — Producers of the Tupelo Furniture Market had concerns this spring that there would be fewer hotel rooms available for their Aug. 14-17 event after a tornado ripped through the city and several hotels sustained damage. In the months since, more than 8,000 furniture retailers have pre-registered for the fall iteration of the furniture market, and most all the exhibit space has sold in the 2.5 million square feet exhibit facility.

“We are very fortunate to hold our event in the city of Tupelo,” said Kevin J. Seddon, president of the furniture market. “City officials and community development leaders, as well as numerous other organizations, insurers and private citizens immediately stepped up after the tornado came through and began clean-up and rebuilding. They had a response plan in place and knew how to execute upon it. As a result, every roadway is clear, and nearly every hotel is open for business!”

In fact, there are more hotels than ever before. Although a couple of existing hotels may not be re-opened in August during the Tupelo Furniture Market, several new ones have opened for business, including a 121-room Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites located just a few miles from the furniture market.

“We have long-standing relationships with every hotel in the region, and there will be plenty of rooms available,” said Gretchen Brown, director of housing for the Tupelo market. “Our staff knows the availability of hotel rooms in the area at most every hotel, so we are asking those planning on staying overnight to book through us so we can quickly find them a hotel nearby, at a great price, and within driving distance from the facility.”

Although there are more hotel rooms available than in previous years, the number of attendees booking rooms has increased substantially; therefore, the show’s producers are asking both attendees and exhibitors to contact the furniture market’s in-house hotel reservations department as soon as possible.

“Attendee pre-registration is comparable to last year’s furniture market, but hotel bookings have increased dramatically,” said Adam Cleveland, COO for the Tupelo Furniture Market. “We attribute this to a substantial increase in new retailers that are traveling to the market for the first time and are planning on shopping for several days. We also believe that many retailers were unable to attend our market last February because of inclement weather and thus may be planning on staying in Tupelo longer than usual.”

Cleveland went on to state that whatever the reason for the more than 50% uptick in hotel reservations, both exhibitors and attendees planning on traveling to Tupelo can benefit from better rates for rooms if they choose to book through the Tupelo Furniture Market.

The Tupelo Furniture Market is one of the oldest and largest national furniture trade events in the United States and is held twice each year at the Tupelo Furniture Market. The market facilities’ 2.5 million square feet will house more than 500 companies showcasing thousands of furniture and accessory products.

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