Hotels get pummeled as demand nosedives for a second week

“It’s tougher to process when you consider that occupancy will likely fall further:” STR

TRD NATIONAL /
Mar.March 25, 2020 02:45 PM
Roughly 8 out of 10 hotel rooms in New York were empty as the hospitality industry took it on the chin for the second week in a row (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Roughly 8 out of 10 hotel rooms in New York were empty as the hospitality industry took it on the chin for the second week in a row (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The hotel industry suffered another devastating week, as cities like New York and San Francisco saw more than eight out of every 10 hotel rooms sit empty.

Occupancy levels in those two cities plunged more than 80 percent last week as the Covid-19 pandemic obliterated demand for hotel stays, new figures released Wednesday by the hospitality data firm STR show. Across the United States, occupancy fell on average by more than half to roughly 30 percent, while the country’s top 25 markets saw even steeper declines.

“That average is staggering on its own, but it’s tougher to process when you consider that occupancy will likely fall further,” STR senior vice president Jan Frietag said. Drops in room revenues were at “unprecedented levels,” he added, explaining that the decline is “worse than those seen during 9/11 and the financial crisis.”

In New York, a city where occupancy is usually at 90 percent or above, the rate took a nosedive to about 17 percent. Revenue per available room fell more than 86 percent to just about $30 per room.

That was steeper than the national average decline of almost 70 percent to just above $28 per room.

San Francisco suffered the most in three key metrics: occupancy, room revenues and average daily rates.

Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago saw occupancy rates decline by roughly 63 percent, 65 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

Last week was the second week in a row when hotels experienced sharp declines in performance measurements due to the global health crisis.

Hoteliers have responded by shuttering properties and laying off hundreds of thousands of workers.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.


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