STR: U.S. hotel profitability remains in single digits

Phoenix led the way in September in terms of month-over-month GOPPAR improvement. Photo credit: Pixabay

According to STR‘s latest monthly profit and loss data release, September was the third consecutive month with single-digit profitability for U.S. hotels, but improvements in year-over-year comparisons stalled.  

In a year-over-year comparison with September 2019, gross operating profit per available room dropped 91.7 percent to $8.14, while total revenue per available room declined 72.4 percent to $68.58. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization per available room fell 109.3 percent to -$7.03, while labor costs per available room dropped 62.1 percent to $31.94.

Click here for all of Hotel Management's COVID-19 coverage

Previous monthly GOPPAR comparisons came in at -91.3 percent for August, -93.3 percent for July, -105.4 percent for June and -117.7 percent for May. Once the pandemic struck in early spring, the industry registered negative GOPPAR values for four consecutive months: March (-$2.10), April (-$17.98), May (-$10.26) and June (-$5.89). July proved a turning point when GOPPAR turned positive for the first time since February at $5.74. August remained positive at $6.90, but the increase was not as dramatic as that of June to July. 

Related: U.S. hotel profitability growth continues in August

“GOPPAR came in a bit higher than August on an absolute basis, but for the first time since May, industry performance moved further away from prepandemic levels,” said Audrey Kallman, operations analyst at STR. “Among the findings from September data, we saw that urban properties are the only location type still operating without profitability, while the small metro and interstate hotels continue to operate with the highest profitability.”

The report also noted the number of top markets with positive GOPPAR increased from eight in August to 12 in September, with Phoenix leading the way.