Austin’s Hot Hotel Market Still Growing. Here’s Why.
Two years ago, there were just 8,000 hotel rooms in Downtown Austin. More than 1,200 opened in the past year, and another 2,500 are on their way. The big events, like this weekend’s Austin City Limits festival, are just one of the drivers.
Texas Hotel Brokers’ Ryan Patterson (left, with his friend, Marcus & Millichap's Ford Braly at the Texas Tech-TCU game last week) tells us hospitality likes Downtown because of the high walkability to restaurants, entertainment and the festivals like SXSW all right there. The big venues are driving the demand and with high land prices in that market, developers have to be creative with their projects to get the most bang for their buck, he tells us. The JW Marriott opened its 1,000-plus room project earlier this year on Congress Avenue. The Westin Hotel is now open on East Fifth Street and the 300-plus room Hotel Van Zandt which opens in October in the Rainey Street area. The dual Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo is in the works, as well. The 1,000-plus room Fairmont should come on line at 101 Red River St in 2017. Ryan tells us he’s working a project right near the airport, but it’s too early to share the details.
Jobs are still growing in Austin with startups and technology still dominant, Ryan says, and there are opportunities outside of Downtown, including the Mueller Austin search for the right hotel concept there. The Domain is hot with Home2Suites opening this past spring. The hotel market is strong, but its success is contingent on the continued growth of the festivals, Formula 1 races and the convention center, Ryan tells us. The Hotel Van Zandt (pictured) is just one block from the Convention Center and takes full advantage of the festival atmosphere, says GM Joe Pagone.
Joe tells us Austin was the perfect location for JMI Realty’s Hotel Van Zandt (a Kimpton Hotel), especially right on Rainey Street, because the city has its luxuries mixed with a quirkiness that makes it a unique destination. Joe says you can find him Friday with his 5-year-old daughter at the kid’s music stage at ACL before he takes her home and heads back out with his buddies that night. Want to see a bigger list of Austin hotel projects? They’re among Downtown Austin Alliance’s list of projects here.