Most Warrnambool accommodation providers are reporting 100 per cent occupancy as COVID-19 challenges fail to stop sprintcar enthusiasts from making their annual pilgrimage.
Motel Warrnambool and Gateway Motor Inn are both fully booked for the weekend with a mix of speedway fans and other guests.
Gateway Motor Inn owner/manager Brendan Gleeson said the event attracted a lot of visitors and it was great for the city.
"It's good for all accommodation providers and business owners in the town will pick up business as well," Mr Gleeson said. "It's 100 per cent. I think most accommodation providers would be nearly 100 per cent."
He said throughout the peak tourist season he'd only had one or two cancel for COVID reasons.
"We've been pretty lucky and people are good, they know it happens," Mr Gleeson said. "If they do have to cancel they say we'll re-book down the track."
Motel Warrnambool owner/manager Greg Quick said it was a busy time for him with regulars returning.
"We missed a few because it wasn't on last year (due to COVID) and a few of the regulars haven't turned up," Mr Quick said. "We've got about half of the usual regulars that we'd normally get but we've made up for that with other people."
This could be the last year the two motels accommodate speedway fans with a planning permit application lodged with Warrnambool City Council to transform the site into JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks stores.
A Warrnambool City Council spokesman said council's holiday parks had benefited from the "speedway effect" with a surge in bookings for the weekend.
"Many of the speedway faithful have returned to enjoy the sprint car action and the great weather has also contributed to strong bookings," he said.
Warrnambool's Mahogany Motel is filled with past guests returning for this weekend's action and owner operator Marty Williams said he and the city's other budget motels were reporting a strong summer.
"The consensus is that we've all had pretty good, solid numbers," he said. "Our occupancy for the last two months has been at about 97 per cent. We've been very lucky. I believe most of the other properties have been filled but there's a few who've had gaps.
"Over the course of the summer we've had quite a lot of cancellations but we've managed to fill them.
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Eight Spence motel is at 95 per cent occupancy with a mix of speedway and other visitors,
Owner Tamara Groves received four cancellations due to people unable to travel because of COVID-19.
She said many of their summer guests were last-minute bookings.
She said one couple who'd been staying at the property for 11 years was devastated to have to cancel for this weekend and she felt sorry for those in a similar situation.
"He said 'it's the first time my wife and I aren't making the trip' and they're just gutted because of COVID. He's hopefully going to come back next year."
The Best Western Olde Maritime is also fully booked.
Mid City Motel marketing manager Lauren Orero said a number of devout speedway fans continued to return annually and it was a huge drawcard.
The motel is at 95 per cent occupancy and had about 10 cancellations, which she said was to be expected in the current climate, but the rooms were re-booked quickly.
Ms Orero said the Deep Blue Hotel, which is under the same ownership, was also at capacity, with high demand for the hot springs and wellness experiences this weekend.
"In instances where people have needed to cancel at the Deep Blue, the rooms have been resold quite quickly," Ms Orero said.
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