Hotel Online  Special Report

New York City Hotel Occupancies for the Month of
March, 2004 Reached their Highest Level
for any March since 1969


Hotels fill, even as room rates rise

New York, NY.  April 13, 2004.  New York City hotel occupancies for the month of March, 2004 reached their highest level for any March since 1969, according to John A. Fox, Sr. Vice President of PKF Consulting, the international hospitality advisory firm.  According to Mr. Fox, preliminary data gathered by PKF/C for the month indicate City occupancies averaged nearly 85%.

“This is an extremely significant increase in occupancy compared to the depressed level of 69% we recorded in March 2003.  But more importantly, this level was achieved simultaneously with a very healthy 5.5% increase in average daily room rates - to approximately $182.00,” Fox said.

The strong March results also bring the overall first quarter, traditionally the slowest period of the year for New York City hotels, up to an occupancy of 76% compared with 67% last year. Overall, room revenues for the first quarter of 2004 increased by 16%. 

This figure tracks very closely to the forecast by PKF Consulting research affiliate the Hospitality Research Group and their partner Torto Wheaton Research in the Spring 2004 Hotel Outlook report for New York City.  Double-digit room revenue growth is expected to continue for the next two quarters, signaling continued firmness to the industry recovery in Manhattan.

Mr. Fox attributed the healthy increases to several factors.  “First of all, visitation is up from the first quarter of last year when we saw a fall-off in travel caused by the uncertainty associated with the run-up to the invasion of Iraq,” Fox said.

“Secondly,” he said, “We’ve been helped by the US dollar being cheap against overseas currencies.  This makes New York a more attractive destination for domestic travelers.”

“The currency level has the effect of making a trip to the US cheaper for overseas visitors, while at the same time making overseas venues expensive for US travelers.  To the extent their travel is truly discretionary, US travelers would be more likely to stay in the US,” Fox explained.

Final occupancy and room rate figures for New York City in the month of March should be released by PKF Consulting in 7 to 10 days, Fox said.

PKF Consulting is an international consulting and real estate firm specializing in the hospitality industry.  Together with its affiliates, The Hospitality Research Group (HRG) and the PKF Capital Markets Group (CMG), the firm has offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

John A. Fox
Senior Vice President
PKF Consulting
29 Broadway
New York, NY 10006
(212) 867-8000
Also See: Average Daily Rates for New York City Hotels Fall from $237 in 2000 to $193 for First Quarter 2003; Lowest Rates in 10 Years / April 2003
Return of Business Travelers to New York City Painfully Slow; 800,000 sq ft Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Needs Expansion / September 2003

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