Traditional hotels still dominate the landscape
The supply of new hotels in the U.S. grew by more than 100,000 rooms in 2018. This is the largest number of new rooms to enter the market since 2009. New hotel developments put pressure on existing properties who are forced to renovate and remain rate competitive. In 2019, CBRE Hotels Americas Research is forecasting the nation’s hotels will enjoy a 10th consecutive year of growth with U.S. hotel occupancy expected to rise to 66.2 percent this year, a fifth straight record level. The growth in occupancy is primarily the result of a projected 2.1 percent increase in demand, more than enough to offset an estimated net increase in supply of 1.9 percent for the year.
Buoyed by a strong economy and fresh competition, hotel chains are spending furiously to update their properties to the tune of over $7 billion this year. Properties are refreshing their units with a wide array of features and amenities patrons now expect, such as ergonomic work spaces, upscale retail shops and keyless room entry.
Despite the increase in room inventory, hotels are raising rates and adding new fees. The industry is expecting a 2.3 percent lift in average daily rate (ADR) to $133.04 while unpopular resort fees are now creeping into urban luxury and full-service hotels across the United States. They may be called amenities or facilities fees and cover less glamorous goods or services like internet access and bottled water, but major chains have embraced this newfound source of revenue.
These factors have forced reunion planners to look at ways to keep their costs in check. Check out our article on 7 Tips for Negotiating with Hotels to help your group get the right hotel at the right price.
Alternative to Tradition
Changing consumer preferences has brought alternative housing into the mainstream. Over the last decade, apartment and home rental sites like Airbnb (4 million listings worldwide) and VRBO have opened up a new level of clever choices never thought possible. Not to be overlooked, university housing (school is out during summer reunions), religious monasteries and hostels all offer unique housing choices and a memorable experience. Read our article on Alternative Accommodations to learn why timeshares aren’t nearly as bad as some make them out to be.
The great outdoors beckons generations of families looking to reconnect with nature. What better way to create new memories than a scenic dude ranch or glamping (high-end camping) adventure? Our team gives you the inside scoop on these two trending areas.
Armed with insider intelligence and plenty of choices, you’re now better prepared to select the right style of accommodations for your group. Ready to book?