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STR: Smaller cities report greater hotel impact during Great American Eclipse

September 9, 2017 Hotel Trends No Comments Email Email

Hotels in the Great American Eclipse path of totality reported a 244% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) on the night before the event, according to an analysis by STR’s Consulting and Analytics team. 

In the three days leading up to the eclipse, hotels in the path of totality reported an 87% RevPAR increase.

“There was simply no modern comparison for this event, so while performance increases were expected, we weren’t sure to what extent hotels would capitalize on what ended up being a two-minute event,” said Carter Wilson, STR’s VP of consulting and analytics. “In the end, the cities with limited hotel supply, like Hopkinsville, Kentucky, for instance, showed the greatest gains, while major cities, like Nashville, were lower on the RevPAR increase list. On average across the path of totality, Sunday night occupancy increases were more pronounced than rate gains, and that was enough to lift performance results for the entire country last week.”

Largest 15 cities
(path of totality)
RevPAR increase (20 August) 
Nashville, TN +165%
St. Louis, MO +268%
Kansas City, MO +135%
Columbia, SC +398%
Greenville, SC +233%
Charleston, SC +196%
North Charleston, SC +188%
Lincoln, NE +321%
Columbia, MO +454%
Bowling Green, KY +236%
Murfreesboro, TN +155%
Casper, WY +766%
Clarksville, TN +339%
Idaho Falls, ID +501%
Salem, OR +374%

Other key findings of the analysis include:

  • Most of the 139,000 hotel rooms in the path of totality were in non-urban locations.
  • Midscale and Upper Midscale hotels outperformed all other classes during the eclipse.
  • Hopkinsville, Kentucky—with six hotels reporting data to STR—achieved the highest RevPAR gain of any city in the path of totality at +1,644% (20 August).
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho, achieved the highest average daily rate (US$368) and the largest year-over-year ADR increase (+276%) on the Sunday before the eclipse.
  • Each of the 15 largest cities in the path of totality (shown in the attached table) reported an absolute occupancy of more than 94% on 20 August. On that day,Columbia, Missouri, experienced the greatest occupancy lift compared with the same day last year (+162% to 96.1%).
  • Of the 15 largest cities in the path of totality, Casper, Wyoming, recorded the largest gain in RevPAR for the day (+766% to US$261.96).

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