October 26, 2020 – PORTSMOUTH, NH – According to the latest U.S. Hotel Construction Pipeline Trend Report by Lodging Econometrics (LE), the total U.S. hotel construction pipeline, at the end of Q3 2020, stands at 5,282 projects/655,026 rooms, down 7% by projects and 6% by rooms, year-over-year (YOY). As expected, the hotel construction pipeline is off more substantially in Q3 ’20 as compared to Q2 ’20. This is due largely in part to an acceleration of new hotel openings in Q2 ’20 as a result of a cyclical high number of projects under construction in Q1 ’20 that were delayed and later opened in Q2 ’20. Secondly, new project announcements continue to be muted. Projects exiting the pipeline and moving to a cancelled or on hold status in Q3 ’20 stood at 191 projects/21,859 rooms.
Developers continue to closely monitor the impact the coronavirus will have on travel demand, how quickly a widespread vaccine will roll out, and the outcome of the U.S. presidential and congressional elections. It is expected that as these events and timelines provide more clarity for developers, they will begin to more confidently move forward with their development activity.
Projects currently under construction stand at 1,610 projects/216,136 rooms, down 7% by projects and 8% by rooms, YOY. Despite the decrease YOY, projects that are currently under construction continue to move forward towards their opening. New hotel openings continue to outpace projects moving to under construction. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months total 2,113 projects/246,528 rooms. Developers with projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months continue to adjust their construction start and opening dates, minimize carrying costs, and plan to open in a more robust operating environment. LE continues to track development timeline changes in its database. Projects in the early planning stage stand at 1,559 projects/192,362 rooms, an increase not only YOY but quarter-over-quarter as well.
Through the third quarter of 2020, the U.S. opened 599 new hotels with 68,712 rooms with another 326 projects/35,324 room anticipated to open by the end of 2020, totaling 925 projects/104,036 rooms. For 2021, LE expects another 960 projects/113,247 rooms to open.
*COVID-19 (coronavirus) has had an unprecedented impact on the country and the hospitality industry. LE’s market intelligence department has and will continue to gather global hotel intelligence on the supply side of the lodging industry and make that information available to our subscribers. It is still early to predict the full impact the pandemic will have on the lodging industry. We will have more information to report in the coming months.