NYC hotels still slogging through slow months

Occupancy up from early January, but still below December levels

New York /
Feb.February 24, 2022 02:00 PM
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

New York City’s hotel industry ticked back up in February after this winter’s slow season hit properties harder than usual.

During the week ending on Feb. 19, hotels averaged a 56.5 percent occupancy rate, according to STR data reported by Crain’s. Occupancy rates for hotels in the city improved from last month to reach the highest of the two-month-old year, but are still trailing levels typical before the pandemic and in the holiday season before the surge of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

February marked a significant step up from the previous month. As the Omicron variant’s spread sparked event cancellations and staff shortages across the country, the city’s occupancy rate dipped as low as 40.3 percent in early January.

Despite ticking up in the midst of a typically slow season, the industry is likely still reeling from how far occupancy has dropped from only two months ago. In the week ending Dec. 11, occupancy hit 81.5 percent, the highest since the onset of the pandemic.

NYC & Company, the city’s official travel agency, has lowered expectations for the year, according to Crain’s. It had predicted there would be 57.8 million visitors to the city this year, already almost 10 million below the 2019 numbers. It is now projecting 56.5 million visitors.

Revenue per available room, another metric of hotels’ success, is also struggling to get back into gear. The revPAR was up $3 in the week ending Feb. 19, but still came in about $50 below the typical levels of pre-pandemic Februaries in 2019 and 2020.

The industry responded when occupancy dipped back down to 42.5 percent, with hotel owners launching a web and TV campaign to tug at the hearts and minds of elected officials.

As the rough numbers pile up, some are feeling dejected about the recovery of the hotel industry, including Hotel Association of New York president Vijay Dandapani.

“Before the Omicron variant delayed a comeback, conservative estimates projected a full recovery for the hotel industry in 2025,” Dandapani told Crain’s. “… Now it could be even longer. Make no mistake: Hotels are struggling.”

Not everyone is professing a dire view of the situation. John Beck, general manager of the Crowne Plaza HY36, told Crain’s he believes his hotel has something to look forward to, as 17 April days are fully booked and occupancy could exceed 90 percent for the month.

[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    L-R: Savanna's Chris Schlank, Eastdil Secured's Will Silverman, JLL's Bob Knakal (Photos by Paul Dilakian)
    Office royalty talk conversions, distress and the “downsize upgrade” trend
    Office royalty talk conversions, distress and the “downsize upgrade” trend
    Columbia Property Trust's Nelson Mills and 799 Broadway (Columbia Property Trust, 799 Broadway, iStock)
    Columbia Property Trust signs investment firm to 71K sf at 799 Broadway
    Columbia Property Trust signs investment firm to 71K sf at 799 Broadway
    East End Capital's Jonathon Yormak and 141 East Houston Street (141 East Houston Street, East End Capital)
    Boutique LES office scores blockchain firm as anchor tenant
    Boutique LES office scores blockchain firm as anchor tenant
    Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc and 225 Broadway (Getty Images, Google Maps, iStock)
    Refinery29 subleasing at 225 Broadway for move in with Vice
    Refinery29 subleasing at 225 Broadway for move in with Vice
    Naftali Group's Miki Naftali, BRP Companies' Meredith Marshall (Photos by Paul Dilakian)
    Miki Naftali, Meredith Marshall talk development, death of 421a
    Miki Naftali, Meredith Marshall talk development, death of 421a
    R-L: Willow's Kevin Danehy, Era Ventures' Clelia Warburg Peters, Fifth Wall's Brad Greiwe and The Real Deal's Hiten Samtani (Photo by Paul Dilakian)
    Real estate tech is coming for your business
    Real estate tech is coming for your business
    Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari and CBRE chief financial and investment officer Emma Giamartino (LinkedIn, CBRE)
    CBRE doubles down on flex-office provider Industrious
    CBRE doubles down on flex-office provider Industrious
    New York skyline
    Rising interest rates will dampen city’s investment sales market this year
    Rising interest rates will dampen city’s investment sales market this year
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...