The resort business is getting some of its corporate accounts back five years after the recession.
Resort travel is back, and for some, it never went anywhere.
Considering the financial onslaught so many people faced as a result of the Great Recession five years ago, it is surprising to learn that resort travel among transient customers (those not buying properties or attending business events) did not suffer much. But the corporate travel atmosphere did, and it is the “business” business that is making a comeback.
According to STR, the parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, the resort segment of the hotel business in the United States saw 21 consecutive months of declining revenue per available room starting in June 2008 through the summer of 2010. In March 2009, year-over-year decline in revenue per available room was down 26.8 percent, very comparable to the decline of 27.3 percent set in September of 2001.
But the HotelNewsNow.com report indicated that transient demand stayed steady through the downturn, while group and contract rates suffered severely. Those numbers have improved dramatically.
Since the summer of 2010, there has been steady growth in all three segments.
Through the first half of 2012, occupancy was at 64.5 percent, ADR (average daily rate) was at $145.70 and RevPAR (revenue per available room) was at $93.91. RevPAR was up 5.1 percent over the previous year.
The resort market makes up 12.3 percent of total supply of the U.S. hotel industry, with 3,819 properties and over 600,000 rooms as of September 2012. Recent growth is helped by the fact that the resort industry is seeing “almost nonexistent supply growth’’ according to HotelNewsNow.com.
Transient travel to resorts has almost reached pre-recession standards, while group demand remains down below 2007 levels. September through November is the “conference season’’ and travel experts are waiting for results from that time period to see if recovery has occurred in that sector.
The top resort travel destinations for American travelers this year were Orlando, Southern California, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon and continental Europe.
One resort market that has seen a significant uptick is summer usage of mountain resorts. Travel industry officials say summer travel to mountain resorts is at never-before-seen levels.
According to Denver’s DestiMetrics, its 17 resort lodges in five states reported a 5.5 percent increase in vacationers in August over the same month last year. July occupancy jumped 5 percent over the previous year, and revenues were up 10 percent from the same numbers in July 2012. The occupancy rates for July and August were above pre-recession rates.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.