In the first quarter of this year, more than 140 new hotels opened in the U.S., reported Lodging Econometrics.
In March, the U.S. had 150,000 rooms under construction, said STR. It’s the highest end-of-month total the company has reported.
Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights at STR, said he expects hotel construction to continue throughout the year. But because of the low customer demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, hotel developers are not in a rush to open and projects will spend more time in construction.
Also impacting the timelines are the availability of building materials due to supply chain disruptions and challenges in finding skilled laborers who want to work during a pandemic.
This episode of Lodging Leaders podcast looks at the current state of hotel construction and explores what the future might hold with regard to new development in the shadow of COVID-19. We interviewed construction company executives and hotel developers to get an idea of the challenges they’re facing in getting a job completed and opened.
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Nicolas Graf, associate dean, clinical professor and chair of New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, will soon unveil the school’s new Hospitality Innovation Hub. Departure from the norms of doing business is key to the post-pandemic survival and success of the hospitality industry, says Graf. Companies that offer flexibility in thought and practice among employees will go a long way in leading the industry’s post-pandemic recovery. Episode 331 of Lodging Leaders explores what it will take for owners, operators and others invested in the industry to attract and retain bright young talent who can help build modern and sustainable hotel business models.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.