US, Canada pipeline down in March: STR

The U.S. hotel pipeline was down 9.5% year-on-year and Canada’s was down 3.9% year-on-year in March, according to the latest data from STR.

The total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 2,752 projects totaling 293,850 guestrooms, according to the March 2012 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report.

Among the chain scale segments, the upper upscale segment reported the largest increase in guestrooms in the total active pipeline, rising 17.8% over March 2011 to 16,772 guestrooms, followed by the economy segment with an 8.6% increase in guestrooms to 4,397. The upper midscale segment reported the only double-digit decrease in guestrooms in the total active pipeline, falling 14.0% to 82,815 guestrooms.

“We continue to see an increase in the number of guestrooms In Construction as strength in travel and tourism gathers momentum,” said Duane Vinson, vice president Database Content and Integrity at STR. “Large meeting and conference hotel projects under the flags of Embassy Suites, Hyatt and Marriott are breaking ground again, as well as smaller projects under business-oriented brands such as Courtyard, Hilton Garden Inn, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites and Hyatt Place.”

The unaffiliated segment ended the month with the largest increase in guestrooms in the in construction phase, rising 62.6% to 12,036 guestrooms, followed by the upper upscale segment, up 39.5% to 7,730 guestrooms and the luxury segment, up 37.8% to 1,130 guestrooms.

“There are a few large independent projects that have significantly impacted the overall number of non-branded guestrooms in construction, namely the Revel Resort & Casino (Atlantic City, New Jersey) with 1,399 guestrooms, a new military lodging facility at Fort Benning, Georgia, with 860 guestrooms, and the Margaritaville Casino Resort with 396 guestrooms being built in Bossier City, Louisiana,” said Vinson.

The upper midscale segment, at 18,200 guestrooms and the upscale segment (17,416 guestrooms) reported the largest number of guestrooms under construction among the chain scale segments.

Canada pipeline down, too

Canada’s hotel development pipeline comprises 196 projects totaling 19,909 guestrooms.

“In a country with just over 14,000 luxury scale guestrooms, three new projects totaling 711 guestrooms, makes a pretty big splash,” said Vinson. “With 461 of those guestrooms under construction, that amount of growth hasn’t happened in the segment since 2004 with the opening of the Four Seasons Whistler and W Hotel Montreal. We’re also seeing a significant push in the upper midscale segment with guestrooms in the active pipeline amounting to a 10% increase in supply.”

Among the chain scale segments, the luxury segment experienced the largest increase in guestrooms in the total active pipeline, rising 255.5% to 711 guestrooms. The economy segment, up 58.0% to 452 guestrooms and the upper midscale segment, up 38.4% to 5,857 guestrooms also reported increases in guestrooms in the total active pipeline. The midscale segment ended the month with a 44.2% decrease in guestrooms in the total active pipeline with 363 guestrooms.