Data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights firm STR said that the number of hotel rooms under construction across the US reached an all-time high last month.
Analysis shows that there were a total of 214,704 rooms under construction in March 2020, up from 211,859 in February.
Prior to these figures the industry’s previous construction peak occurred in December 2007, when 211,694 rooms were recorded as being under construction.
The current coronavirus crisis is likely to have some impact on construction numbers in the coming months – a total of 37 projects in various stages of planning were either moved to deferred status or abandoned last month.
But Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP of lodging insights, said that the number of rooms in construction “will likely remain high”.
“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the industry is no longer operating in a record-setting demand environment, so there isn’t the same rush to open hotels and tap into that business,” said Freitag.
“In addition to a lack of guests awaiting new hotels, there are also limitations around building materials and potential labour limitations from social distancing. With all of that considered, projects are likely to remain under construction for a longer period.”
“It’s worth remembering—in 2008, the projects that were in the ground continued to get built, while the projects that were in the planning or final planning stages were most likely shelved. We expect the current pipeline to follow a similar pattern and will continue the monitor the number of projects that are halted in the coming months.”
New York led the way with 14,051 rooms under construction in March 2020, followed by Las Vegas with 9,802 rooms, Orlando with 8,737 rooms, and Long Island / Long Beach with 6,640 rooms.