The U.S. hotel development pipeline includes 5,494 hotels with 590,207 rooms, according to the January 2009 STR/TWR/Dodge Construction Pipeline Report. This represents a 3.7-percent decrease in the number of rooms in the pipeline over December 2008 and a 5.3-percent decrease in the number of rooms in the pipeline over January 2008.The number of rooms in the In Construction phase showed large year-over-year contrasts within the chain-scale segments. Two segments posted year-over-year increases for January, including the Midscale without Food and Beverage segment’s 17.8-percent increase to 63,311 rooms in the In Construction phase, and the Upscale segment’s 16.0-percent increase to 54,332 rooms in the In Construction phase. Two segments posted year-over-year decreases of more than 30 percent, including the Upper Upscale segment’s 37.4-percent decrease to 17,783 rooms in the In Construction phase and the Independents segment’s 34.4-percent decrease to 28,458 rooms in the In Construction phase.
“The contrast in what we’ve seen development wise across the chain-scale segments this past year, and what we are seeing today is simply amazing,” said Duane Vinson, vice president of STR. “Most interesting perhaps are the sharp swings we now have in the number of rooms in the In Construction stage, with Upper Upscale and Independents down and Upscale and Midscale without F&B up.”
“The slowing of the Active Pipeline continues with a 7.3-percent decline year-over-year,” he said. “Most notable are the 32-percent drop in Upper Upscale rooms, from 57,471 last year to 39,062 this January, and the 20-percent decline in the Independents segment. Several large non-branded hotels opened in 2008, such as the Trump International in Las Vegas; The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City; MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Ledyard, Connecticut; and the Encore Suites in Las Vegas.”