U.S. hotel occupancy flirts with 40% mark

New York City saw occupancy reach 47.1 percent during the week ending June 6. Photo credit: Pexels/Roberto Vivancos (skyline)

During the week ending June 6, occupancy continued to climb toward the 40 percent mark with noticeably higher levels on Friday and Saturday, according to STR.

“The lower end of the market continued to lead, with economy properties finally selling more than half of their rooms again, although all hotel classes were comfortably above 20 percent,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP of lodging insights. “Drilling down to the submarket level, the highest occupancy levels were recorded in various pockets of New York City as well as popular leisure spots in Florida, Texas and South Carolina. Thanks to higher demand, one submarket, West Palm Beach, (Fla.,) showed a 21 percent year-over-year [average daily rate] increase for the entire week.”

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In terms of overall U.S. hotel performance for the three main indicators, year-over-year declines remained significant although not as severe as the levels recorded previously, according to STR.

May 31-June 6, 2020 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019):

  • Occupancy: 39.3 percent (-45.3 percent)
  • Average daily rate: US$85.01 (-35.9 percent)
  • Revenue per available room: US$33.43 (-65 percent)

Previous weekly U.S. weekly occupancy levels: 

  • May 24-30, 2020: 36.4 percent
  • May 17-23, 2020: 35.3 percent
  • May 10-16, 2020: 32.3 percent
  • May 3-9, 2020: 30.3 percent
  • April 26-May 2, 2020: 28.8 percent
  • April 19-25, 2020: 26.2 percent
  • April 12-18, 2020: 24.4 percent 
  • April 5-11, 2020: 22 percent

“Once again, there wasn’t a significant week-to-week change in the markets that were the focus of protests and unrest,” Freitag said. “Like we noted last week, there was not a great deal of demand in downtown areas previously, and most of the major metros showed small gains from the previous week.”

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (35.4 percent) than the national average, but slightly higher ADR (US$88.54).

According to STR data, seven of those markets saw occupancy levels above 40 percent: Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va., (48.4 percent); New York City (47.1 percent); Phoenix (44.7 percent); Philadelphia (42.8 percent); Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., (41.8 percent); Atlanta (41.4 percent); and Detroit (40.8 percent).

Markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Oahu Island, Hawaii (10.6 percent); Orlando (23.5 percent); and Boston (24 percent).