Friday, December 20, 2013

Value City Suggestions for 2014 Groups

At the end of each year, Meetings Focus Magazine conducts a trends survey focusing on industry growth and performance for the prior year and expectations for the year to come. Responses from 600 meeting planners predicted a “temperate climate” in 2014. You can read the full report which covers everything from meeting planner demographics and career satisfaction to causes in job function changes and individual challenges faced here:

Perhaps the most interesting portion of the article is data and analysis provided by Bobby Bowers, Senior Vice President of Smith Travel Research (STR) about the state of the industry. Bowers summarizes: “It seems like consumer confidence is continuing to edge up a bit, but business confidence is a little sluggish with the shutdown and healthcare.”

According to Bowers, the luxury segment, which was the hardest hit, has returned to the peak performance levels seen in 2008. Bowers states “If you look at the nominal—not factored in for inflation—RevPAR [Revenue per Available Room] rate, we’re pretty much back to where we were, but if you factor in inflation we’re about a year off.”

Bowers expects that occupancy rates, which have been steadily climbing in the last two years, will hold firm causing ADR (Average Daily Rate) increases of 5.4% for high-end luxury properties and about 4.6% for upscale properties.

Suggestions for 2014 values? Bowers suggests the middle of the country, away from coastal areas, like Detroit, Minneapolis and Cincinnati. “…they haven’t seen the rate growth of markets like San Francisco and Miami,” he says. Planners might also find great values in markets where new construction will increase city room counts by at least 2%: Orlando, Houston, Long Beach, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Even better values can be found in Denver (4.5% increase) and Nashville (over 3% increase).  New York, New York will see a 12.2% increase, although NYC can hardly be considered a ‘value’ city.

Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 Hotel Openings to Watch

No matter what your group is looking for, they are sure to love these new construction and reflagged hotels opening in 2014!

Streamsong Resort - Streamsong, Florida
Opening January 2014

Renaissance Denver Downtown - Denver, Colorado
Opening February 2014

The Westin Cleveland Downtown - Cleveland, Ohio
Opening April 2014

Le Meridien Chicago - Oakbrook, Illinois
Opening April 2014
(No Photo Available... Yet)

Le Meridien Charlotte - Charlotte, North Carolina
Opening April 2014
(No Photo Available... Yet)

Marriott Marquis - Washington, DC
Opening May 2014

Great Wolf Lodge New England - Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Opening Second Quarter 2014

JW Marriott Houston Downtown - Houston, Texas
Opening June 2014

Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Opening Third Quarter 2014

Delano Last Vegas - Las Vegas, Nevada
Opening Third Quarter 2014
(No Photo Available... Yet)

Hotel Monaco - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Fourth Quarter 2014
(No Photo Available... Yet)

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage - Rancho Mirage, California
Opening 2014

The Westin Jekyll Island - Jekyll Island, Georgia
Opening December 2014

Pearl Hotel - San Antonio, Texas
Opening 2014
(No Photo Available... Yet)

The Westin San Jose - San Jose, California
Opening December 2014

Friday, December 6, 2013

Top Ten National Park Hotels to Visit This Winter

Looking for great get-away ideas this winter? Whether you want to enjoy the winter sports outdoors or escape the cold weather, you'll love this top ten list of national park hotels from The Active Times:

1. The Ahwahnee Hotel - Yosemite National Park

2. Volcano House - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcano House Exterior at Night

3. Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole, WY

4. Kennicott Glacier Lodge, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Kennicott Glacier Lodge and Mount Blackburn

5. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO

6. Sorrel River Ranch, Moab, UT

7. Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park

8. Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier National Park

9. Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

10. Furnace Creek Resort, Death Valley, CA