by Michael J. Shapiro | September 21, 2011

The U.S. hotel pipeline continued its decline in August, according to Smith Travel Research, with the number of rooms dropping by 12.4 percent over the previous year. The August 2011 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report, released last week, reported a total of 2,951 projects in the pipeline, for a total of 315,668 rooms. But the number of rooms in the construction phase did grow in some regions. “We continue to see a high number of rooms under construction in key U.S. markets such as New York City; Orlando; Miami; and Washington, D.C.,” noted Duane Vinson, STR vice president of client services. Three regions reported an increase of 20 percent or more in rooms under construction: Pacific, which was up 38.9 percent; East South Central, which grew by 32.2 percent; and West North Central, with a 31.5 percent increase. But the total number of rooms in the active pipeline has significantly slowed in some areas — including the Pacific region, which, despite leading the country in rooms under construction, saw a 20.3 percent drop in its overall pipeline. No regions experienced growth in the overall active pipeline, which includes the “in construction,” “final planning” and “planning” stages.