June 26, 2017
People love to visit San Francisco. Unfortunately, hoteliers don't love to build there. The result over the last several years has been increased hotel demand, but stagnant hotel supply.

That's finally changing, according to the San Francisco Business Times, which reported last week that San Francisco has 4,685 new hotel rooms in the pipeline -- 1,400 of which already are construction. For comparison's sake: Just 253 new rooms opened last year, when San Francisco welcomed a record 25.1 million visitors -- the city's seventh-consecutive year of record-breaking tourism growth.

"San Francisco has been a difficult hotel market for decades," local hotel architect Michael Stanton of Stanton Architecture told the Business Times. "The opacity of land, the complex and lengthy approval process, the high cost of construction... it all dissuades people from building. Now that the housing market is so uncertain, the hotel market is finally catching up with demand."

According to the Business Times, five new properties will open in San Francisco this year and 20 more are in various stages of planning and development.

Among the new hotels opening in the city are Yotel San Francisco, a Japanese capsule-style hotel that will open this fall with 203 "cabins"; Virgin Hotels San Francisco, debuting this summer with 196 rooms; and the Waldorf Astoria San Francisco, which will come online in 2020 or 2021 with 171 rooms. Already opened, meanwhile, is Hotel VIA, which opened last week with 159 rooms and a 3,000-square-foot rooftop that can be used for private events. 

"There are quite a few hotels about to open and more in the pipeline than we've had in a while," Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, told the Business Times. "San Francisco is a center for innovation, and hotel developers are bringing in that innovation to make it more exciting and cater to the city's travelers. The new brands and concepts will be incredible for the city, and what's nice is that the range between the Yotel and the future Waldorf Astoria will create a spectrum of options."