Downtown Austin hotel boom bullish on visitors, higher ratesDowntown Austin hotel boom bullish on visitors, higher rateshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=15262015-03-09T14:26:00Z2015-03-09T08:30:00Z

AUSTIN - New hotels are popping up all over the downtown area, with the building surge on pace to increase the area’s available rooms by about 60 percent.

A 1,012-room JW Marriott that debuted last month boosted downtown’s hotel room total to about 7,500 — and at least ten hotels are under construction that will give downtown more than 3,000 additional rooms.

It’s a dizzying pace for a market that has in the past struggled to land convention business, but hotel operators say they are convinced Austin will be able to handle the influx of hotel rooms.

Austin attracts about 21.5 million visitors annually, according to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, with the travel industry injecting about $6.3 billion into the local economy.

A growing convention business, a healthy economy and Austin’s popularity as a tourist destination are just some of the many reasons hoteliers say they’re bullish on Austin.

In 2014, occupancy at downtown hotels hit 79.3 percent, according to STR, a travel research firm. When occupancy rates rise above 65 percent, developers say it’s typically time to start looking at adding new inventory.

As occupancy rises, so do downtown room rates. The average nightly rate in 2014 was $203.90, according to STR, an 8 percent increase over 2013. Those rates will soar even higher during South by Southwest, which is one of the most lucrative times of year for Austin hotels.

Also see Source Strategies for Texas cities and county data.

Austin American-Statesman
Austin-Round Rock
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/business/downtowns-hotel-boom/nkQpp/#288679a5.3380261.735666Read more at {Source}

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