Resort-town hotels bounce back in reopening states, providing industry with hope of a return

Towns in Florida and Texas saw occupancy rates rise in first “real weekend” of relaxed restrictions, according to STR

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 06, 2020 03:49 PM
A Disney resort hotel in Kissimmee, Florida and Galveston, Texas with STR senior vice president Jan Freitag (Credit: MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP and DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

A Disney resort hotel in Kissimmee, Florida and Galveston, Texas with STR senior vice president Jan Freitag (Credit: MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP and DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

Hotels bounced back last week at tourist destinations in states like Florida and Texas which have begun reopening — a sign that the industry could rebound once more states relax pandemic restrictions.

Texas cities like Galveston and Corpus Christie led the boost in occupancy last week, alongside Florida destinations such as Daytona Beach, Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, according to hospitality data firm STR. Overall, the hotel occupancy rate in the U.S. was 28.6 percent last week, up from 26 percent the week prior.

“The first ‘real weekend’ with eased Covid-19 restrictions showed an obvious jump in hotel demand, especially in popular, warm-weather leisure spots,” STR senior vice president of lodging insights Jan Freitag said. “Whether or not this becomes a trend remains to be seen, but the fact that there were people instantly willing to head out for leisure activity and stay in hotels is a positive sign for the industry.”

Hotel occupancies had nosedived for weeks as states shut down to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Some of the hardest hit areas have seen improvements as first responders and medical workers occupied rooms. In New York City, occupancy last week was nearly 45 percent, up from about 41 percent the week prior. Occupancy bottomed out at about 15 percent in late March.

In Los Angeles, occupancy climbed to nearly 34 percent, up from just shy of 30 percent the week earlier. Chicago occupancy remained relatively flat at around 24 percent, and Miami occupancy creeped up just slightly to about 26 percent.

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


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