Miami hotel industry sees lift following storm-battered hurricane season

Growth was second in the nation to Houston

Hurricane Harvey (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Hurricane Harvey (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Miami’s hotel industry had one of the strongest fourth quarters of any market in the country last year, on increased demand following the devastation from Hurricane Irma in September.

Revenue per available room — a widely used metric of the market’s health — shot up 16.3 percent to $152.42 from October through December. That’s about four times the growth in RevPAR nationwide over the same period in 2016, according to hospitality tracker STR.

The Miami/Hialeah market also posted the second-highest increases in two other metrics. Occupancy climbed 9 percent to 77 percent, and average daily rate rose 6.6 percent to $197.82. Hotels likely saw a boost following Irma, from people who were displaced from their flooded or devastated homes in the Keys, and some in Miami.

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Miami trailed only Houston, which sustained severe damage from Hurricane Harvey in August. It posted double-digit increases in all three metrics, including a 40.9 percent growth in RevPAR to $79.82. That’s largely attributed to demand from hurricane victims, relief workers, and insurance adjusters, and other hurricane-related business, according to STR.

Local markets affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma weren’t the only ones that saw increased business.

The overall U.S. hotel industry posted new records on those same metrics in the fourth quarter.

Nationwide, occupancy inched up slightly to 65.9 percent, ADR grew 2.1 percent to $126.72 and RevPAR climbed 3 percent to $83.57. All three figures were the highest recorded by STR. There were also records in supply and demand. There were 1.87 billion room nights available, and $1.23 billion room nights sold.

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