North Carolina hotels report positive lift following Hurricane Florence

A sailboat stranded on top of a dock at a marina in Oriental, N.C., by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 13, 2018. Photo credit: Getty Images/Eifel Kreutz

Among Hurricane Florence-affected states, North Carolina reported the greatest impact on hotel property status and performance, according to an analysis from STR’s consulting and analytics team. 

As of Oct. 3, 65 hotels accounting for 4,422 rooms in North Carolina were confirmed to be closed due to storm-related damage. According to Dominik Kozissnik, STR’s global census director, roughly half of the closed properties already have planned reopening dates, most of which will be later this month or in November. South Carolina, on the other hand, reported three closings that totaled 323 rooms. 

During that same week, South Carolina and Virginia experienced occupancy declines of 6.1 percent and 5 percent, respectively. 

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Confirmed closings as of Oct. 3, 2018. Photo credit: STR

“Hurricane-affected areas usually see a similar pattern when it comes to hotel performance—a demand decline prior to a storm’s arrival and a demand spike once the storm dissipates or moves on,” Hannah Smith, a consultant for STR, said in a statement. “With Hurricane Florence specifically, that trend was most visible in North Carolina, likely from the combination of fewer hotels operating and more demand from displaced residents and emergency workers. On the other hand, performance decreases were more common in South Carolina and Virginia, supporting the idea that disasters such as these can negatively affect performance in less strongly affected areas.”

The top and bottom five submarkets ranked by occupancy comparison:

Comparison of week of Sept. 16-22, 2018 with week of Sept. 17-23, 2017. Photo credit: STR