The top performing U.S. hotel markets in this monthly “bubble” chart update largely reflect late-summer seasonal patterns along with continued strong leisure travel. For the four weeks ending 13 August, the leading U.S. markets showed a clear geographical orientation toward more temperate and/or outdoor climes found in the coastal corners of the nation. Likewise, and similarly not unexpected for the season, a range of markets mostly in the uncomfortably hot south/southwest U.S. saw lower percentages of rooms filled.
Oahu continued its lead among Top 25 Markets in average occupancy (84.5%, up from 84.2% in the prior update). That level was closely followed by Seattle (84.4%, up 4.4 %pts.) and San Diego (84.3%, up 1.1 %pts.). Boston, which had the fifth best occupancy among major markets, boasted the largest percentage gains since July’s update, increasing occupancy from 74.2% to 80.7%.
Conspicuously, all Top 25 Markets had lower occupancies, on average, than the matched period from 2019. In fairness, many of those markets have also experienced notable increases in supply. Dallas, for example, which is labeled and near the bottom left of this month’s charts, is one of seven large markets in which comparable demand increased (+3.8%) from 2019, yet its 6.8% increase in room supply resulted in a net negative change in market occupancy.
Nominal (non-inflation adjusted) average daily rate (ADR) continued to outpace 2019 levels for all but a single Top 25 Market. While Oahu’s $304 ADR for the month was the highest among large markets, San Diego’s $258 ADR held the largest margin (+36%) over the 2019 comp.
Considering recent occupancy and ADR performance, comparisons in nominal revenue per available room (RevPAR) were in positive territory for 17 of the Top 25 Markets. When accounting for inflation, however, the positive balance sheet slipped to six Top 25 Markets recently exceeding their matched 2019 RevPAR on a real dollar value basis. San Diego (116 RevPAR index) and Phoenix (104) were among the set of markets that beat both their past performance and inflation. Of 165 STR-defined markets, 75 (45%) had matched four-week real RevPAR indices exceeding 2019.
The leading STR markets outside of the larger Top 25 demonstrate the pervasive influence of this summer’s strong leisure travel patterns. Three smaller markets from Maine commanded top occupancy slots for the four weeks. Led by Portland’s Downtown (92.6% occupancy), all three Maine markets – including Portland Surrounding (90.4%) and Maine Midcoast (88.2%) – were meeting occupancy levels of 2019. The Alaska market (91.5%) likewise matched its 2019 occupancy. Where these top occupancy submarkets are particularly outpacing is their extraordinary ADR gains from seasonal historic baselines. Portland Surrounding led in nominal indexed ADR (+39%), followed by Maine Midcoast (+36%), Portland Downtown (+29%) and Alaska (+26%). With restrictions now lifted in border travel, Seattle’s CBD has recently made sizable gains in its demand/occupancy from the first half of the year. Having been slower than many markets to get back to the pricing optimization game, Seattle CBD rates are recently only 7.4% higher than the 2019 comp.
For more information, be sure to check out our weekly updates in STR’s Market Recovery Monitor.
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STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. For more information, please visit str.com and costargroup.com.
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