Expedia’s 2-minute warning for hoteliers in New Orleans

American football’s Super Bowl means big business to the city that’s lucky enough to be selected to host, and this year is proving no different for New Orleans, whose 35,000 rooms compare well to Indianapolis, the host of the big game in 2012.

With less than two weeks before the big event, Expedia Market Manager Ted Bogan III offers a look at statistics from Expedia.

The stats

ADR is trending almost 20 percent ahead of Indianapolis’s pace last year at approximately US$370. New Orleans is proving to be a popular destination for the fans as room nights are pacing over 130% compared to Indianapolis last year. Average length of stay is trending at 3.6 nights, comparable to 2012.

Red zone trends

Strategies tend to change as hotels approach the end zone.  In the week leading up to super Sunday, ADR and LOS decreased. Indianapolis is most notable because of its comparable size, but even substantially larger markets experienced a downturn.

2012 (Indianapolis) 76% ADR* and 1.5 vs. 3.6 LOS**

2011 (Dallas) 82% ADR* and 1.9 v 2.3 LOS**

2010 (Miami) 91% ADR* and 1.8 v 2.1 LOS**

*percent of overall and ** final week vs. overall

The analysis

“Some fans wait until after the playoffs to make their plans, so this week may be your last opportunity to maximize ADR and length of stay,” said Bogan. “Just like the players, hoteliers need to leave it all on the field. If history repeats itself next week, rates will drop and length of stay requirements will go out the window like Mardi Gras beads off a balcony.” 

The playbook

  • Bring your A-game: With only 10 days until fans start pouring into town, keep all of your distribution channels open to maximize the influx of demand.
  • Watch out for the blitz. Check comp set websites daily, even twice daily.
  • Look out for the sneak [pay. Recognize that for major events, nearby cities like Gulfport/Biloxi and Baton Rouge are only an hour away and offer guests a substantial savings.  Plan your offerings accordingly.
  • Get the field goal. The majority of fans plan their trip from Friday through Monday.  Incent guests to stay extra nights by offering a discount for Thursday and Monday nights. 
  • Go for two: The big game seems to be cannibalizing some of the traditional demand for Mardi Gras. Consider discounting the middle of the week to get guests to string together both events.