In the on again – off again story of a new hotel/conference center for Kent, there’s been some encouraging news in recent weeks. Laing Kennedy, Kent State Athletic Director, was the featured speaker at the Bowman Breakfast a couple of weeks ago and he spent a good five minutes of his speech preaching the need for a Kent hotel for all the athletic teams and families that he brings to Kent. Just a week before that I met with Kent’s CEO’s and they all talked about how badly they need a Kent hotel for all their corporate clients. These comments are encouraging since they reflect the pent up demand in the Kent market but I wasn’t sure how strong the hotel industry was these days. I was told that the last time the City made a serious run at a hotel the industry hit the skids and so did the project. It looks like that’s changed.
Hotel Construction Sets Record
November 02, 2007
Lodging Econometrics (LE) released its latest report to the Lodging Industry, announcing that the New Construction Pipeline in the United States set a record at 5,011 projects/654,503 rooms, making the third quarter the fifth consecutive record-setting quarter. “Guestroom counts in the Pipeline are 31 percent higher than the last peak in 1999,” said Patrick Ford, president of LE. “However, the project count is an astonishing 47 percent greater. Factoring in cancellations and postponements–and new hotel openings of 228 hotels/23,187 rooms–the overall Pipeline accelerated by 375 projects/43,162 rooms quarter-over-quarter.” Projects/rooms presently under construction (1,459 projects/209,306 rooms) and those scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months (2,390 projects/286,948 rooms) are both at record levels. New project announcements during the third quarter are at a record high of 817 projects/102,305 rooms. “Surpassing 5,000 projects in the Pipeline is a milestone event,” Ford said. “It reflects the surge of select service and mid-market brands developed earlier, as well as a number of new, contemporary brands launched in recent years.” Ford added that the credit crisis has not yet significantly affected those hotels already in the Pipeline or impacted developers announcing new projects.