by Michael J. Shapiro | February 21, 2017
Hotels in the United States enjoyed a successful start to 2017, according to figures just released by lodging-data provider STR. Average daily rate jumped by 3.2 percent, year-over-year, to $120.72, and revenue per available room rose by 3.8 percent - marking the 83rd consecutive month that RevPAR rose year-over-year. Occupancy, which grew by half a percentage point to 54.1 percent, tied the January record.
 
"The 54.1 percent absolute occupancy level matched January 2015 as the highest on record for the month," said Jan Freitag, STR's senior VP of lodging insights. "But with 150,000 more rooms in the U.S., you can argue that this was the best January on record."
 
Freitag, however, added that the spoils of January don't affect STR's long-term forecast: "At the same time, we still expect negative occupancy performance for 2017 due to an imbalance in supply-and-demand growth."
 
The Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia market enjoyed the month's steepest RevPAR increase, due to the presidential inauguration and following the Women's March. Revenue per available room rose by 51.3 percent to $96.52, driven primarily by a 38.3 percent increase in average daily rate to $171.12.
 
Tampa/St. Petersburg experienced the only other double-digit ADR increase (up by 12.5 percent to $136.82) and the second-largest RevPAR jump (up by 15.3 percent). Another Florida market, Miami/Hialeah, was hit with the steepest drops in ADR (down by 9.3 percent to $215.29) and RevPAR (down by 13.5 percent). The fact that Miami hotel supply was 4 percent higher than the previous year was certainly a factor, according to STR.