DC area hotels cashed in on inauguration, Women’s March

WASHINGTON — D.C.-area hotels had a good 2017, with the seventh-highest average hotel room rates in the country, at $159.63 a night, up 4 percent from 2016, according to hospitality research firm STR.

The increase in room rates came even as a number of new hotels opened in the region, increasing the number of hotel rooms available by 2.1 percent.

The biggest jump in hotel room rates came in January 2017, likely from a swell in visitors for both the presidential inauguration and the Women’s March. The average daily rate for a D.C. area hotel room was $171.23 in January, 38.4 percent higher than January 2016.

The U.S. hotel industry as a whole had a banner year in 2017, according to STR.

Revenue per available room in the top 25 markets in 2017 was up 5.6 percent from 2016.

“The industry outperformed projections and reached record-breaking levels across the metrics in 2017,” said Amanda Hite, STR’s president and CEO.

And the research firm is expecting an even better 2018.

“Given the tax cut and the stronger GDP growth that is expected, U.S. hotels are in solid position moving through the next year,” Hite said. “Construction activity is on the decline for the first time since 2011, so even as demand growth subsides, the effects on occupancy and rates should be more manageable for hoteliers.”

In Houston, Hurricane Harvey, which displaced thousands of homeowners, pushed occupancy up 7.1 percent in 2017, the largest increase in occupancy in the nation.

Orlando had the second-highest increase in occupancy, rising 4.9 percent last year.

New York City had the highest average daily hotel room rate in 2017, at $292.78, followed by Oahu Island, Hawaii at $234.50.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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