Hotel Industry: 7/12-7/18

Hotel Industry: 7/12-7/18

Hotel Weekly Update

Nationally, hotel occupancy was down 38.9% compared to 2019 this week. Atlanta was 3rd out of the 25 biggest lodging markets in the US for the least occupancy rate declines (-34.8%), up from last week’s ranking of 5th out of 25.

Hotel marketing campaigns are leaning into nostalgia, invoking the familiar tropes of the family car ride to a beach, the mountains, or national parks. These campaigns are aimed to invoke nostalgia from marketing campaigns 50 years ago from when people were very eager to get in the car and drive. The campaigns have driven travel preferences out of cities and into more out of the way smaller attractions. The new travel preferences have led to high occupancy rates at small towns (63.5%), interstates (61.1%), and resorts (59.2%) towards the end of the week. Urban hotels and airports continue to fall behind in occupancy as leisure travel is driven away from cities and more towards driving to smaller, local attractions.

Source: STR

Week of July 12th Winners & Losers

Lodging and travel preferences were geared to staying in hotels that have the chain segments of economy, independent, midscale, or upper-midscale that were located in or around interstates and small towns. Traditionally, resorts are at their all-time highs during the summer but reduced leisure travel numbers across the US have resulted in an ~44% occupancy decline. This can be especially felt for long-distance resort travel such as the Oahu Island market in Hawaii which experienced the lowest occupancy levels in all of the US since May, 22% occupancy this week (-75% decline YoY).

Top 6 Performing Cities by change in occupancy

City2020 Occupancy2019 Occupancy% Change
Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA64.5%82.4%-21.8%
Phoenix, AZ43.2%64.5%-33.0%
Atlanta, GA50.6%77.7%-34.8%
Tampa/St Petersburg, FL48.3%74.7%-35.3%
Detroit, MI53.1%84.8%-37.3%
Philadelphia, PA-NJ47.7%80.8%-40.9%
Source: STR

Worst 6 Performing Cities by change in occupancy

City2020 Occupancy2019 Occupancy% Change
Oahu Island, HI22.0%87.9%-75.0%
Boston, MA30.9%88.9%-65.3%
Orlando, FL30.1%79.6%-62.2%
Seattle, WA34.2%90.1%-62.0%
New York, NY35.9%92.2%-61.1%
Miami/Hialeah, FL30.1%77.1%-61.0%
Source: STR

Source: STR

Atlanta Hotel Updates

As the month has continued, more Atlanta hotels have started to open their doors. Recently the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center reopened after 3 months of renovations on July 2nd. The renovations came with upgrades geared toward guest and employee safety along with brand new room furniture and designs. The hotel has installed signage for guests to stand 6 feet apart when checking in and out along with plexiglass at the front desk. The employees have all their temperature checked and guests can have their bathroom supplies delivered to their door. After checkout, rooms are treated and cleaned twice as long as the pre-COVID era to ensure zero COVID-19 transmission. The hotel’s biggest attractions– the ballroom, conference rooms, and buffet hall– all received upgrades to cater to keeping guests attending a conference safe. For meals, instead of a grab and eat buffet, guests can pick which displayed buffet items to eat and have them delivered in hand-made, disposable à la carte trays. For the ballroom and conference room, brand new desks have been laid out in a social distance manner to ensure reduced transmission and regularly get cleaned during breaks. With upcoming bookings driven from students moving back to Georgia Tech and various business teams renting out the conference center, urban occupancy is starting to pick back up with enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols.

Atlanta Hotel & Venue Reopening’s:

  • Red Clay Music Foundry plans to reopen and hold its first concert July 27th
  • PeachFest will be held on July 19 with social distance polices in place

Major Recurring Events Cancelled/Postponed this week:

  • Rescheduled to August: Atlanta ShortsFest (Orginal Date: July 16-18 2020)
  • Moved Online: Atlanta Ice Cream Festival (Orginal Date: July 16-25 2020)
  • Canceled: Butternut Creek Festival (Orginal Date: July 18-19 2020)
  • Moved Online: Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, July 16-25, 2020
  • Moved Online: Atlanta United FC vs. New York Red Bulls

Week Of July 12th Hotel Report: Good And Bad News

Good News

PeachFest will be held on July 19 with social distance polices in place

Enhanced safety measures is allowing for urban occupancy to pick back up slightly

Bad News

AMC Theatres Delaying Summer Reopening In Atlanta

Delta CEO: Business travel may lag for 12 to 18 months

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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