STR: U.S. hotel profits drop 116% in April

With occupancy down, hotel profits fell more than 100 percent year over year. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Ibrahim Akcengiz (Hotel lobby)

According to the latest monthly profit and loss data release from STR, U.S. hotel gross operating profit per available room fell 116.9 percent in April, the first full month of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the country. 

In a year-over-year comparison with April 2019, the industry reported GOPPAR dropping to -$17.98 while total revenue per available room dropped 92.9 percent to $17.39 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization per available room decreasing 140.2 percent to -$32.30. As hotels across the country laid off and furloughed a significant percentage of employees, labor costs fell 72.8 percent to $20.80 per room. 

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“Whereas only the later portion of March was affected, April was the country’s first full month in the COVID-19 world, and the impact on U.S. hotel profitability was historic,” said Joseph Rael, STR’s senior director of financial performance. “As we have reported, occupancy levels hit the floor near the middle of the month, leaving many properties positioned to lose money by keeping their doors open. That led to more than 5,100 temporary closures around the country.”

Among top markets, Houston reported the steepest year-over-year GOPPAR decline (down 135.3 percent), followed by Chicago (down 134.6 percent) and San Francisco/San Mateo (down 133.6 percent).

At a class level, luxury properties saw the worst decrease in GOPPAR, falling 124.5 percent.

“As we’ve noted in our weekly performance releases, occupancy and [average daily rate] levels have trended upward over the last six weeks into late May,” Rael said. “It will be interesting to monitor how much revenue outside of room sales will come in when we process profitability metrics next month.”