REPORT FROM THE U.S.—New data released by STR indicates the early days of Hurricane Irene had an immediate impact on hotels.
STR tracked performance data for East Coast hotels in the hurricane’s path using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There are 7,000 hotels in this area and 3,500 hotels with 509,000 rooms that report data to STR, the parent company of HotelNewsNow.com. The map below depicts hotels that were located within the path of Hurricane Irene.
On Saturday, 27 August, the most recent data available, occupancy in this area was 69.6%, a 10.5% decrease in year-over-year comparisons; average daily rate was US$133.25 (+0.3%) and revenue per available room was US$92.76 (-10.3%). To give an idea of the immediate impact in this area, occupancy on Saturday, 20 August, was 82.5%; ADR was US$134.38; and RevPAR was US$110.90.
Revenue in the newly identified East Coast area started declining on Friday, 26 August, before Hurricane Irene first made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane. Friday revenue was down 6% compared to the same day last year and 27 August revenue was down 9.8%.
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When examined by states within STR’s East Coast region, impact as of 27 August was mixed. For instance, in flood-ravaged Vermont, occupancy on 27 August was down 3%, ADR was down 3.2% and RevPAR was down 6.1%. New Jersey hotels reported slight decreases on 26 August—a 2.8% decrease in occupancy, a 0.2% drop in ADR and a 3% decrease in RevPAR. Saturday’s metrics were back in the black for the state. In New York, which evacuated low-lying areas on Friday, occupancy was down 6% on 27 August, ADR was up 7.5% and RevPAR was up 1.1%. However in North Carolina, where Irene first made landfall on 27 August, occupancy started declining on Wednesday, 24 August (-1.8%), and jumped back on Friday (+20.3%), possibly reflecting hotels further inland that made up for evacuated properties. And in the affected area of Maryland, hotels reported an occupancy decrease of 21.8% on 27 August. This data only includes hotels within each state that fell within the hurricane impact zone.
Of the top 25 U.S. markets, Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia, saw the largest week-over-week declines in the week ending Saturday, 27 August. The market saw an 18.8% drop in demand, an 11.7% decline in ADR and a 28.2% drop in RevPAR.
Other major markets impact
The New York, Boston, Washington, D.C.-MD-VA, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-NJ markets also saw performance largely fall during the hurricane. (All data as of the week ending 27 August compared to the prior week.)
• New York: occupancy declined 4.5%; ADR declined 0.8%; RevPAR declined 5.2%.
• Boston: occupancy declined 6%; ADR declined 0.9%; RevPAR declined 6.8%.
• Washington, D.C.: occupancy declined 7.2%; ADR increased by 0.5%; RevPAR declined 6.8%.
• Philadelphia: occupancy declined 1.4%; ADR increased 0.2%; RevPAR declined 1.1%.