ATLANTA: Downtown Hotels Heat Up
While the Atlanta hotel market's recovery had lagged behind the nation, it's coming back full force. Thank growing biz and group travel (for which Atlanta is heavily dependent) and employment and the economy picking up in both the city and region, PKF Hospitality Research prez Mark Woodworth tells us. STR shows RevPAR was up 13.3% in Q1, almost double the national average, and combined with significant jumps in occupancy, room rates ticked up 4.5%. “That's a strong, terrific quarter for Atlanta,” he says. Above, he's with his family: son Sam, wife Mary Kay, son Harry and daughter-in-law Annie (on their wedding day), daughter Savannah, and daughter-in-law Katie and son Will. (Which reminds us: weddings can also help the hotel industry.)
Hotel performance in Atlanta for Q1 '14 was strongest in the outlying suburbs, but look for big gains in the Downtown submarket. These will come from activity at the Georgia World Congress Center and a big push by the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. If GWCC's proposed 800- to 1,000-room hotel (above, what it could potentially look like) goes through, it will be Downtown's first major new hotel in decades, he says. As Downtown heats up, it will put pressure on Midtown and the airport submarkets, and Buckhead will follow. This year overall, PKF forecasts that Atlanta RevPAR will grow 6.3%, occupancy will rise 1.9%, and ADR will increase 4.4%. Revenue then will continue its climb next year.