2020 was a lost year for hotel developers
With construction financing dried up, new projects have come to a halt for hoteliers, but some developers could be positioned to benefit.
REPORT FROM THE U.S. - It's been a memorable year for hotel developers, though most would rather forget it.
"When COVID hit, everybody just shut down and was paralyzed for a while," said Rick Takach, Jr., chairman and CEO of Vesta Hospitality. "All the equity, and everybody, was really afraid to spend money in the hospitality world."
A common theme for developers is that projects already under construction continued, while projects in early stages of the pipeline stalled or were abandoned.
Data from Hotel News Now's parent company STR shows that, as of the end of November, the number of hotel rooms under construction across the U.S remained flat year over year at 206,000 while rooms in final planning decreased 2% and hotels in planning fell 14%.
As the pandemic lingered, developer interest in some stalled projects seemed to wane, as more projects moved from the planning and final planning stages to deferred or abandoned in August and September.