NYC Hotel Occupancy Hits Pandemic Record Amid Virus Surge

(iStock/Steven Delacian’s illustration of The Real Deal)

New York City hotels reported peak occupancy in early December, but the industry has been reported to have rebounded amid a resurgence of new virus cases.

Hotel occupancy in the city averaged 81.5 percent in the week ending December 11, according to data from STR analytics company reported by Crain’s. This number represents the highest rate in the city since the onset of the epidemic.

The rate is still lower than the same week in 2019 by about 13 percent, but it comes after CBRE Group previously forecast occupancy of a disappointing 56 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Everyone was waiting to come out after two years of hibernation,” Lightstone president Mitchell Hochberg told Crain’s. His company operates three hotels under the Moxy brand, all of which have occupancy rates above 90%.

However, the holiday joy in the hotel industry may not last long. In addition to flooding the city’s hospitality properties with visitors, December has also brought a familiar enemy back to the fore: coronavirus cases.

Dr. Jay Varma, Senior Public Health Adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Tweet on December 16th To show city data detailing the apparent daily positivity rate doubled from 3.9 percent on December 9 to 7.8 percent on December 12.

New York state set a record for its most positive cases in the entire pandemic for three consecutive days this weekend, capping 22,478 positive tests Sunday, with an 8.41 percent positive rate.

The simultaneous variances of the omicron and delta variables can complicate industry recovery projects. However, not everyone is shy about the danger that the high number of cases can pose to this sector.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this will be a short glimpse on the road to New York’s long-term recovery,” Jason Pomerank, founder of Sixty and Civilian Hotels business, told Kreins of the city’s ever-changing health policies.

The outlook for a full recovery in the New York City hotel market remains murky. A CBRE study in April projected that hotels in the city would not recover to 2019 occupancy levels until 2025.

[Crain’s] – Holden Walter Warner

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