AVERAGE ADR FOR registered historic hotels for 2016, at $259.39, was more than 12 percent higher than the average ADR for contemporary hotels, according to CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research. This continued a trend CBRE has researched for four years now in presentations made at the Historic Hotels of America annual conference.
Occupancy and RevPAR for HHA registered hotels in the U.S. also exceeded contemporary hotels in 2016. Historic hotel occupancy stood at 79.3 percent to contemporary hotels’ 76.8 percent, and their RevPAR was $205.69 compared to contemporary hotels’ to $177.50.
CBRE reported similar trends last year using data samples from 2015, in which historic hotels had an average ADR of $256.11 in 2015, according to CBRE data profiles. That was higher by more than 11.6 percent than the $229.59 ADR for contemporary hotels. Occupancy for historic hotels in 2015 stood at 79.1 percent while contemporary hotels saw 76.6 percent. RevPAR for HHA hotels was $202.53 versus $175.76 for contemporary.
HHA hotels’ RevPAR levels saw levels between upscale and luxury hotels in the first three quarters of 2017, CBRE Senior Managing Director Mark Woodworth said at the HHA conference. RevPAR for historic hotels is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1 percent in 2018 and 2019, driven primarily by increases in ADR, Woodworth said. That growth is close to the 1.2 percent forecast for U.S. upper upscale hotels.
Predicted occupancy levels for HHA hotels through 2019 are 8 percent higher than national average occupancy levels, and historic resort hotels have achieved greater revenue and profit growth compared contemporary properties since 2009. “The data strongly supports the idea that many consumers favor and will pay more for the unique hotel experience historic properties can offer,” noted Woodworth.
HHA tries to educate the public on the difference between “historic” and simply “old,” said HHA Executive Director Lawrence Horwitz. “Historic hotels can achieve a significant advantage in ADR and REVPAR versus contemporary hotels, especially when recognized as part of HHA,” Horwitz said. “While promoting its history helps a historic hotel differentiate itself from other hotels, being part of HHA validates the differentiation.”
One of HHA’s recently inducted properties is the Cotton Sail Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, which is operated by Kris and Riki Patel, the brothers who run HOS Management. The hotel building was originally constructed in 1852 as a cotton warehouse spanning Savannah’s historic Factors Walk.
Kris Patel said the Cotton Sail is mostly boutique, and its unique appeal draws a variety of travelers. “It’s gotten to a point where people just don’t want that same experience going from a branded hotel to a different branded hotel. If you stay at a Hilton property, Hilton travelers are going to expect the same room at any Hilton they travel to,” Kris told Business in Savannah magazine. “The trend has shifted now to where travelers want a different experience every time they travel and we’ve seen a great growth in that segment… And if there’s an opportunity for more boutique hotels that will give our travelers a different experience, we’re all about it.”