The U.S. hotel development pipeline is fairly bursting with new projects, thanks to a combination of strong demand and careful expansion strategies on the part of hotel companies. In fact, according to Portsmouth, N.H.-based Lodging Econometrics, which measures hotel real-estate development, the construction pipeline has posted eight straight quarters of year-over-year growth, with double-digit increases in each of the past four quarters. Put another way, the pipeline is up more than 20 percent compared to 2014.
The cities that stand to gain the most new hotel-room inventory include New York City (13,585), Houston (6,169) and Dallas (4,361). Other destinations benefiting from the building boom include Boston; Las Vegas; Long Beach, Calif.; Miami; Orlando; and Washington, D.C., all of which have anywhere from 2,339 to 4,420 rooms under construction
This year alone, 742 new hotels are on track to open, which will add more than 100,000 new guest rooms to the market. And, no big surprise here, Lodging Econometrics says most of the new growth between this year and 2017 will be led by three major chains __ Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International __ which collectively are responsible for 67 percent of all new supply.
More good news: Even though the majority of new hotel supply will predominantly be in the limited-service sector, simply because developers find them more cost-effective to build, there are several major full-service meeting properties on tap to open in the coming months that will add an injection of new supply to key destinations. Here's a look at four newcomers that are sure to make a heady debut.
• Not your typical convention property, the 400-room Hilton West Palm Beach, is set to open this month with 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 224-seat restaurant, outdoor fire pits and Restoration Hardware-outfitted pool cabanas. The property is connected to the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
• Opening just in time to host attendees to the Republican National Convention in July 2016 is the $272 million, 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Connected to both the Cleveland Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation, it will feature 46,000 square feet of meeting and event space and, on the 32nd floor, a SkyBar with sweeping views of Lake Erie.
• When it opens in October 2016, the $350 million, 1,000-room Marriott Marquis Houston, which is connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center by skybridge, will increase the city's room count by a whopping 20 percent. That's Texas-style big, just like this hotel's persona. It will feature 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 40,000-square-foot grand ballroom, and on the roof a Texas-shaped lazy river and an infinity pool.
• Heading into Nashville's surging meeting scene is the 27 story, 454-room Westin Nashville. Scheduled to open in November 2016, directly across the street from the two-year old Music City Center, the hotel will feature two restaurants and 20,000 square feet of event space, including 12 meeting venues and a grand ballroom that will accommodate up to 1,000 people for a reception.