STR: Memorial Day drives U.S. occupancy to pandemic-era high

Miami posted the greatest average daily rate increase over 2019 for the week of May 23-29. (iStock / Getty Images Plus / Raul Rodriguez )

Boosted by the first two days of Memorial Day weekend, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy reached its highest level since late February 2020, according to STR's latest data.

For the week of May 23-29, occupancy reached 61.8 percent, down just 4.2 percent from the comparable week in 2019. Average daily rate was $122.06 (down 1.6 percent) while revenue per available room was $75.42, down 5.7 percent.

Percentage changes were skewed more to the positive because the 2019 comparable was the week after Memorial Day. Regardless, this past Saturday’s 83 percent occupancy level was the country’s highest since October 2019. Weekly ADR and RevPAR reached pandemic-era highs as well. 

STR analysts noted that while the positives around leisure demand are obvious headed into the summer, the path to recovery remains a roller coaster with a lack of business travel, both domestic and international, preventing hotels in many markets from making up more of the ground lost in 2020.

Top Markets

Phoenix was the only top 25 market to report a double-digit occupancy increase over 2019, improving 10 percent to 64.3 percent. San Francisco/San Mateo saw the steepest decline in occupancy when compared with 2019, dropping 41.1 percent to 47.3 percent. 

In terms of ADR, Miami (up 52.1 percent to $250.19) posted the greatest increase over 2019, followed by Phoenix (up 27.4 percent to $125.71).

When looking at RevPAR, Miami (up 58.4 percent to $185.24) and Phoenix (up 40.2 percent to $80.83) saw the largest increases against 2019. The largest RevPAR deficits were in San Francisco/San Mateo (down 60.4 percent to $67.07) and Boston (down 55.4 percent to $69.79).