The forward-booking data looked impressive, but did hoteliers in Indianapolis score a touchdown this Super Bowl weekend? Data from STR, parent company of hotelnewnow.com, suggests as much.
During the Friday and Saturday nights of Super Bowl weekend (STR won’t process Sunday data for another week), the city saw a 907.2% increase in rooms revenue to US$17.8 million. The market’s hoteliers sold 60,500 rooms during the two-day period, pushing occupancy to 95.5%. Average daily rate was US$294.55, up an impressive 338.1% from the same days last year.
The week in general was strong for the rest of the country’s hotels as well. The U.S. hotel industry reported an average occupancy gain of 5.5% to 51.7%, an average daily rate increase of 3.1% to US$100.45, and an 8.7% bump in revenue per available room to US$51.98.
The upper-midscale segment reported the largest gains in occupancy and RevPAR—7.9% and 11.5%, respectively. The upscale segment posted the largest ADR increase (+3.6%).
Dallas, which hosted last year’s Super Bowl on 6 February 2011, saw an unsurprising drop off in performance for the week. The market fell 12.8% in occupancy to 53.5%, 40.2% in ADR to US$89.27, and 47.8% in RevPAR to US$47.74.
Wyndham Hotel Group on Wednesday reported fourth quarter hotel revenue gains above forecasts—revenue per available room was up 5% over the same timeframe last year—and company executives partly attributed the boost to gains in online demand, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
Wyndham has nearly completed a rollout of new brand websites across the board and made concerted efforts in 2011 to drive more direct traffic, said Wyndham Worldwide Chairman and CEO Stephen Holmes on an investor relations call.
“Online bookings are a growing portion of traffic; they provide over one-third of global hotel and lodging industry revenue,” he said. “Travelers are spending an increasing amount of time shopping and comparing options, often visiting eight to 15 websites. Our goal is to capture that traffic and ensure pageviews become bookings.”
The Department of Justice earlier this week clarified its position on portable pool lifts, for which the mandatory date for installation under revised Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines is 15 March 2012. The guidelines:
• Pool lifts need to be installed at each pool during all operating times and independently operable by disabled persons.
• Pool lifts must be "fixed" unless the operator can prove that doing so would not be "readily achievable" as defined in the ADA, in which event, a portable lift meeting all of the ADA Guidelines could be deployed.
• Accessible lifts cannot be shared between a pool and a spa, each would seem to require a separate device.
• Pool lifts must be properly maintained and in good repair, with any battery components charged for use.
• Staff must be trained in the use and safety of pool lifts.
The savvy attorneys at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP predict there will be significant “advocacy group” litigation and DOJ enforcement actions for owners and operators of public accommodations that do not comply with the DOJ's interpretation for fixed pool lifts.
While there is an exception for situations where a permanent pool lift is “not readily achievable,” it will be very expensive and might be somewhat problematic to prove that. If you purchased a portable pool lift, you will need to find a way to anchor it in place, according to Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group.
Be leery of pool-lift vendors who represent that their lifts, particularly portable pool lifts, are ADA “certified” or “ADA compliant” or that their lifts “meet all ADA Guidelines,” they continued.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is the U.S. market leader for business travelers, while Marriott Hotels and Resorts grabs the ring for leisure guests. The market leader combining the sectors is Hilton.
Those were just a few of the insights gleaned from consultancy BDRC Continental’s “US Hotel Guest Survey 2011,” compliments of HotelNewsNow.com contributor Carlo Wolff.
Other highlights from the granular, 434-page report:
• Business travelers favor upper, full-service brands while budget brands are the segment for the “more cost-conscious leisure traveler.”
• Loyalty programs are growing faster in the U.S. than in other markets, with leisure travelers showing particularly “high engagement.”
• About one in six U.S. travelers is from Generation Y, which is the most likely demographic to travel internationally. Gen Y also is most prone to use social-media websites, checking them more than once a day.
• Internet search engines and hotel websites are the most frequently used information channels, suggesting hotels and chains should invest in and improve them continuously. There is opportunity, particularly regarding Gen Y, for a hotel brand to become a social-media engagement leader. Key target: Gen Y women by way of the smartphone.
• The expectation of free Wi-Fi is growing more widespread, and more than half of all travelers likely would choose a hotel that offered it, assuming all other criteria were met.
Compiled by Patrick Mayock.