What U.S. cities saw improved numbers last week?

New data released by STR Global indicates that the U.S. hotel industry saw positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of March 15-21. In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rose 3.2 percent to 69.3 percent. Average daily rate (ADR) increased 6.6 percent to finish the week at US$122.46, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the week was up 10 percent to finish at US$84.89.

Five of the Top 25 Markets reported RevPAR increases of more than 15.0 percent: Detroit (+23.7 percent to US$63.03); Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (+22.1 percent to US$125.43); Orlando, Fla. (+15.7 percent to US$124.84); Seattle (+15.5 percent to US$103.89); and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. (+15.2 percent to US$135.65).

Two markets reported RevPAR decreases for the week: Denver (-6.2 percent to US$87.75) and Oahu Island, Hawaii (-0.9 percent to US$182.00).

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Four markets recorded double-digit ADR increases during the week: Tampa/St. Petersburg (+11.3 percent to US$146.55); Seattle (+10.8 percent to US$133.19); Washington, D.C. (+10.7 percent to US$165.47); and Phoenix (+10.1 percent to US$170.73).

Good news, bad news
Denver reported the only ADR decrease, falling 1.7 percent to US$114.57. The Mile-High City also reported the largest occupancy decrease, slipping 4.6 percent to 76.6 percent during the week. Still, the city has seen some solid investment in recent months: White Lodging is set to build a dual-branded hotel development in downtown Denver, including an AC Hotels by Marriott hotel as well as a Starwood-branded Le Meridien hotel. Construction on the 18-story development will begin in Spring 2015 with an opening scheduled for early 2017. The two hotels will add 491 rooms. Le Meridien Denver and AC Denver will be located at the center of the city's business district. BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality, meanwhile, began construction on a $70 million Cherry Creek hotel in February. The 155-room hotel is expected to open in April 2016.

Detroit (+13.6 percent to 67.3 percent) and Washington, D.C. (+10.3 percent to 75.8 percent) recorded the highest occupancy increases. This is especially good news for Washington, which reported "low demand and high supply" for its hotels last summer. At the time, analysts blamed government cutbacks, including those related to a 2012 mandate to reduce travel costs by 30 percent, for the downturn. While this downturn affected visitor numbers, the Marriott Marquis Washington D.C., which opened May 1, 2014, added 1,175 rooms to the District's supply, lifting the total to 29,500.

The Motor City, meanwhile, is looking to rebound following the devastation caused by the recession, using large-scale conferences to bring in visitors. Last fall, the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority announced that event bookings had reached a 20-year high. Total 2014 fiscal year revenues increased to $25 million on the strength of a 22 percent increase in the number of events hosted in the city and 19 percent higher parking receipts compared to the prior year. 

Hotel brands are also looking to develop in the city. The Aloft Detroit opened in December, bringing a boutique hotel to the historic David Whitney Building downtown. That same month, Red Lion Hotels Corporation opened a new franchise location near the Detroit Airport.