Hotel Industry: 5/24-5/30

Hotel Industry Overview: 5/24-5/30

Hotel Weekly Update

Nationally, hotel occupancy was down 43.20% compared to 2019.  Atlanta was 3rd out of the 25 biggest lodging markets in the US for the least occupancy rate declines (-35.1%), improving from the #4 spot the city held all month.  Overall, year over year declines are still significant but the trend lines appear to be improving. There is a notable improvement compared to April numbers, where occupancy bottomed out at 22 percent during the week ending on April 11th.

Shown below, Atlanta has been able to continually outperform the national average occupancy rate.  At the beginning of the month, Atlanta occupancy trailed its 2019 average by at least 50%, but the city’s hotels have been able to close the gap and are now down an average of 35.1% this week.

Week of May 24th Winners & Losers

As the month has gone on, occupancy has continued to recover across all chain scale segments nationally. This has been spurred on by states starting to lift COVID-19 restrictions. The statewide restrictions have had a positive effect on leisure travel, but the large conventions and business travel that upscale, upper-upscale, and luxury hotels rely on have had slow recoveries.

Top 5 Performing Cities by change in occupancy

Source: STR

Worst 5 Performing Cities by change in occupancy

Source: STR

Atlanta Hotel Updates

Atlanta’s annual Jazz Festival, which typically has crowds over 150,000 throughout the weekend it is held, was canceled this week. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, State Farm Arena, and Buckhead Theatre also postponed their own individual events. Hotels have reacted by keeping a 10-20% pre-COVID workforce to handle hotel operations. Many franchises have implemented renovations such as hand sanitizer blocks at every bathroom, large public area in the hotel, and the reception lobby. The housekeepers have shifted their cleaning model to sanitize rooms for longer after guests leave by cleaning the whole room at the bathroom level cleaning standards. When guests are present in a room, housekeepers will only leave linens and bathroom essentials outside the guest’s room and only enter the room for cleaning if requested by the guest.

Atlanta has accelerated its reopening of attractions. This week the following attractions have opened back up to the public: Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Fernbank Museum, Porsche Experience Center, SkyView Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park, and Zoo Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium and Six Flags over Georgia plan to open back up on June 15th and many concert venues plan to start hosting artists during June as well, which is anticipated to increase leisure travel into the city.

Atlanta performed extremely well compared to the national average across all hotel KPI’s. This can be partially contributed to the city lifting many COVID-19 restrictions that other states still have in place. Lifting the restrictions has allowed for more spurred interest in leisure travel into the city.

Week Of May 24th Hotel Report: Good And Bad News

Good News

On May 27th, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the city was ready to begin to move to phase 2 of her 5 phase reopening plan

Many local Atlanta attractions have started to open back up.

Majority of Atlanta hotels have opened their doors, albeit with a reduced workforce

Leisure travel is starting to pick back up across the United States

Bad News

MomoCon The 4-day convention, which sees nearly 40,000 unique visitors and more than 120,000 turnstile attendance, was scheduled to open the Thursday before Memorial Day. It has been rescheduled for May 27, 2021.

High profile events that have large crowds are still getting canceled

Hotel GM’s are concerned with re-employing laid-off hourly employees as unemployment benefit checks pay almost 2x a typical housekeeper’s salary

Photo of an undetermined Georgia Tech home game during the 1918 college football season. That's when the sport was hit by the Spanish flu and the end of World War I.

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