Not even a massive workers’ strike could slow down the Chicago hotel industry, which posted a strong third quarter despite the employee walkout.
Thousands of hotel workers walked off the job at 25 Downtown hotels in early September, seeking year-round benefits. Lines of picketers marched outside of some of Chicago’s most notable hotels, banging drums and chanting. Only one hotel still has workers striking, according to reports.
Despite the disruption, Downtown hotels posted one of their best quarters since the recession, according to Crain’s
Downtown hotels posted a revenue-per-available-room of $203 in September, a jump of 7 percent year over year. RevPAR, an industry metric that measures room rate and occupancy, rose by 13 percent in July and 10.7 in August year over year, according to Crain’s.
Hotels have been buoyed by booming tourism in Chicago, with occupancy rates this year nudging up 10 basis points. The hotel industry is answering the demand with feverish hotel construction, with 4,500 rooms under construction earlier this year.
The Downtown hotel industry’s third quarter could have better if not for the strike.
At the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue, RevPAR rose by 8.6 percent in the third quarter. That number would have been 11.6 percent without the work stoppage, Park Hotels CEO Thomas Baltimore said on a conference call, according to Crain’s. [Crain’s] — Joe Ward