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February 2nd, 2017 - 

While we can’t predict which team will take home a win at this week’s Big Game, according to Expedia Lodging Partner Services, we do think that Houston hotels stand to score big. When looking at hotel room demand from the two previous game markets (Phoenix and San Francisco), Houston can expect to see big gains in higher average daily rates (ADRs) and revenue per available room (RevPAR), two common performance metrics for hotels. Additionally, Expedia market managers from Phoenix and San Francisco shared key learnings and insights that Houston hoteliers can leverage to maximize their weekend share and shoulder days.

  1. Hotel room prices spike! No surprise, but Average Daily Rates (ADR) increased dramatically. For example, during game day weekend in 2016, San Francisco saw ADRs increase more than 100 percent YOY on game day, while in 2015, Phoenix saw ADRs increase over 200 percent YOY for the big day (Source: Expedia data). ADRs in both markets also showed a much bigger spike in the two days following the game, rather than leading up to it.
     
  2. RevPAR dramatically increases in the surrounding month: In 2016, San Francisco saw a more than 30 percent increase in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) in the month surrounding the game, which bodes well for Houston area hoteliers (Source: STR)
     
  3. Houston is hot, hot, hot:Year-on-year searches in the market for pre-game Saturday increased over 500 percent from 2016 to 2017 (Expedia search data). However, last year’s market was far from a sell-out; total room occupancy for San Francisco jumped only two points to 82 percent; similar to Phoenix in 2015.
     

Key Takeaways & Insights for Houston

  • Don’t expect to sell out, but prepared for big gains: San Francisco and Phoenix markets were both surprised to not max out capacity during the busy weekend, but the best success stories may come out of Houston. The market historically has a lower ADR and occupancy rate than the prior two big game markets, which means Houston hoteliers have a greater opportunity to increase capacity with the influx of travelers.
     
  • Nix your minimum stay requirements: With one-week until game day, hoteliers still holding on to minimum stays should eliminate booking restrictions to increase their visibility in search results and attract potential fans looking to say just one or two nights
     
  • Promote compelling offers and value adds to stand out in a sea of inventory: Shuttle transportation to the game or official tailgating sites, discounted parking and viewing parties for in-market guests not attending the game are all potential ways hoteliers can differentiate their offerings to spark consideration
     

Spotlight shoulder day sales: Historically, business travel declines the week before and after the big game, so hoteliers can attract potential guests or last-minute bookers with discounted rates or special deals to increase occupancy

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