Compared with April 2015, the U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy increased 2.2% to 68.1%. Average daily rate for the month was up 2.8% to US$123.14. Revenue per available room grew 5.0% to US$83.89.
“What goes down must come up, I suppose, and so April RevPAR was up 5.0%, driven equally by occupancy and ADR increases,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP for lodging insights. “Yes, the RevPAR increase was the best this year and the best since last October, but I really doubt that this marks the reversal of the rather weak performance of recent months. What strikes me is the lack of pricing power despite a demand push of 3.7%—the highest since September.”
Freitag noted that the 68.1% occupancy level was the highest STR has ever recorded for the month and that this was the first time that the industry sold more than 100 million roomnights in April. In addition, RevPAR performance has now been positive for 74 consecutive months.
“Yes, all of this is a reverse Easter comp—last year Easter fell in early April with negative implications, and those are now reversed,” Freitag said. “The first and second of April had RevPAR increases of more than 25%, basically lifting the month. Group occupancy, which was down 9.6% last month, was up 10.8% for the upper-end hotels. The meeting planners clearly did not stop booking; they simply just shifted the pattern from March to April.”
Among the Top 25 Markets, Dallas, Texas, experienced the only double-digit increase in occupancy (+11.0% to 80.9%) as well as the largest lift in RevPAR (+18.1% to US$86.91). ADR in the market was up 6.4% to US$107.45.
Of the eight additional markets to report double-digit growth in RevPAR, Los Angeles/Long Beach, California (+16.9% to US$144.39), was the only market other than Dallas that saw an increase of more than 15.0% in the metric.
Los Angeles/Long Beach also was the only market to show a double-digit increase in ADR, up 11.6% to US$173.50.
Miami/Hialeah, Florida, reported the largest decreases in ADR (-6.0% to US$201.32) and RevPAR (-7.4% to US$162.66). Occupancy in the market fell 1.5% to 80.8%.
The largest occupancy decline was reported in Houston, Texas (-4.8% to 67.5%).
“April was a pretty good month for the nation, and you would expect the same for the Top 25 Markets,” Freitag said. “Alas, for the large markets, RevPAR growth was only 3.8%, but for all other markets, it was 5.8%. The key difference is of course supply growth.”