CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2014) – Hotel performance has been heating up during the summer months in Charlotte, a time of year that is typically synonymous with being a “need period.” Major happenings including the Guinness International Champions Cup, the 66th Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Boule, and other significant meetings and events the city has hosted in recent months are helping to drive the trend and illustrating that these bookings have a positive direct effect on Charlotte’s economy.
Year-over-year growth, especially on the weekends, has impacted both Center City and Mecklenburg County as a whole in key performance indicators such as occupancy, revenue per available room (RevPAR) and average daily rate (ADR). Preliminary results for the entire month of July showed that occupancy levels averaged 70 percent in the county, which is 10 percent higher than 2013. In comparison, average July occupancy since 2006 has hovered at 64 percent.
Strong performance in Center City typically fuels the positive hotel trending for the surrounding region. Occupancy on weekends (Thursday through Saturday) is up 14 percent in Center City this summer compared to last year, while hotel revenues are up 26 percent. Countywide on weekends, occupancy is up 12 percent, while hotel revenue is up 22 percent.
“It’s encouraging to see our hotel community experience record growth,” says CRVA CEO Tom Murray. “While transient business continues to remain strong, events like AKA, the Champions Cup and soon American Legion, all contribute to the success of our hotels in what is typically a slower time of the year volume-wise.”
The week of AKA July 12-18, the county averaged 84 percent occupancy, up 16 percent over the previous summer during the same week. RevPAR for that week was $90.39 in the county, 33 percent higher than the previous year.
The week of the Guinness International Champions Cup, which sold 69,300+ tickets, occupancy in Center City grew to 89 percent for the weekend (Thursday through Saturday) compared to 57 percent for the previous year. Saturday alone generated 96 percent occupancy. ADR grew by 30 percent year-over-year for the same three nights, while RevPAR grew by 106 percent over the same three days last year.
For the county, occupancy averaged 83 percent, peaking at 87 percent on Saturday. This is 25 percent higher than the same weekend last year. ADR averaged $96.90 over the weekend, peaking at $99.02 on Saturday night. These rates showed 17 percent growth year-over-year when comparing the same three days. RevPAR averaged $79.92 over the weekend, peaking at $87.74 on Saturday night. This represents 46 percent annual growth over the same days last year. County hotel revenue for Thursday through Saturday nights totaled $5.88 million. Last year over the same three days, hotel revenue was $3.96 million, which represents $1.92 million in growth or 48% year-over year. Other major events that week contributing to this success included the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week and the Jack and Jill of America 2014 National Convention.
“Visitor spending benefits more than just hotels,” explains CRVA CEO Tom Murray. “The visitors who come here for these events are experiencing our destination by dining in our restaurants, shopping in our retail establishments, visiting our attractions and discovering exactly why ‘Charlotte’s got a lot.’ We hope this type of momentum encourages return visits and word-of-mouth referrals that promote awareness for our community for years to come.”
Even more summer events will continue summer’s hotel hot streak with upcoming happenings such as the Pride Parade & Festival Aug. 16-17, which drew 80,000 attendees last year, and the American Legion National Convention, which takes place Aug. 22-28. The latter will welcome more than 10,000 attendees to Charlotte and will feature a parade on the streets of Center City Aug. 24.