The COVID-19 crisis has practically paralyzed the engines that drive the U.S. economy, including the lodging industry. One of the cogs that turn the wheel is the hotel franchising system. While many hotel franchisees have long been dissatisfied with the power franchisers exert over their businesses, the coronavirus crisis has exposed even greater levels of frustration. Hotel companies are waiving or reducing fees and suspending brand standard reviews for months, but many owners say it’s not enough as they face a true financial meltdown. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s series on the state of hotel franchising. It is also part of a special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.
Commercial construction starts dramatically plummeted in April because of the coronavirus crisis, reports Dodge Data & Analytics. In May, commercial starts saw a slight uptick. Hotels under construction when the pandemic hit continue to move forward but contractors are challenged with the unexpected costs of providing workers with personal protection equipment and complying with OSHA’s newly minted health and safety standards. Hotel developers, meantime, are not in a hurry to see projects across the finish line as demand in travel remains low. Long Live Lodging reports about the state of hotel construction as part of our ongoing special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.
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 read more