March sees uptick in hotel occupancy rate

TRD New York /
Apr.April 05, 2010 05:28 PM

The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate rose in March this year compared with the same month last year even as supply increased, preliminary figures from hotel advisory firm PKF Consulting show.

The occupancy rate in Manhattan rose to an anticipated rate of 80 percent in March 2010 from 72 percent in March 2009, just below the 10-year average of 82 percent for the month, the company said.

The figures provide “some signs [the] bottom has been reached,” John Fox, senior vice president at PKF Consulting, said in an e-mail. “But [it is] too early to feel comfortable as last March was the overall biggest revenue decrease month since [the] 9/11 aftermath.”

The final figures for March are expected in the third week of April.

The hotel industry was expecting a year of little or no growth in 2010 compared to 2009 and the increase in occupancy last month was an unexpected positive sign, hospitality executives said.

“We anticipated 2010 as flat over 2009. We were not planning on any upside,” said Will Obeid, president of Gemini Real Estate Investors. “We are pleased that the market as a whole, and in particular our assets, are outperforming 2009 numbers.” 

He attributed the increase at his properties to additional business travelers and a slight rise in leisure visitors. The firm has acquired or developed six hotels in Manhattan, according to the company Web site.

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