Demand jumps in areas affected by California wildfires
Demand jumps in areas affected by California wildfires
11 DECEMBER 2018 8:39 AM

Parts of California affected by wildfires saw significant increases in hotel demand, according to an analysis by STR's Consulting & Analytics division.

BROOMFIELD, Colorado—Growth in hotel demand has been significant in wildfire-affected areas of California, specifically Butte County and the Oxnard/Ventura submarket, according to an analysis from STR’s Consulting & Analytics office.

“The hotel performance impact has been stronger in the areas around the Camp Fire, and that is largely due to market structure,” said Hannah Smith, STR consultant. “Butte County, and the surrounding counties affected by the Camp Fire, account for just 94 hotels and 4,810 rooms. Roughly 75% of that supply is classified in the midscale or economy segments, which are much more likely to accommodate longer-term, disaster-related demand. For comparison, the Oxnard/Ventura submarket and its surrounding areas comprise 40,950 rooms across 420 hotels. Only 28% of that supply is in those midscale and economy classes, while more than 45% is classified as upper upscale or luxury.”

From 7-27 November, Butte County reported a 43.3% increase in demand (room nights sold) when compared with the same days in 2017. As a result, occupancy jumped to 85.6%, and average daily rate (ADR) grew to US$102.49. Those absolute levels represented year-over-year increases of 43.4% and 3.6%, respectively. The county’s peak demand increase occurred on 25 November as demand grew 120.1% year over year on the Sunday that followed Thanksgiving.

The hotel performance impact during the first week of the Woolsey Fire was widespread across the region. During the second week of the wildfire, however, the impact became most concentrated in the Oxford/Ventura submarket, as defined by STR. From 7-23 November, a 12.4% lift in demand pushed a 12.4% increase in occupancy to 81.9% and an 8.0% lift in ADR to US$145.05. During the same time period, noticeable demand increases were also seen in other STR submarkets such as Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey (+9.3%), Los Angeles North (+8.9%) and Hollywood/Beverly Hills (+3.6%).

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