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All-suite hotels hit Houston
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At last. The rainbow Houston hoteliers have been waiting for. Not only were February citywide occupancy rates and daily room rates at their highest since the early 1980s, but Houston hit the national Top 10 in projected hot hotel markets for the 1990s.
These are among the findings of a recent study by accounting and consulting firm Laventhol & Horwath.
L&H partner John Keeling says that multiple factors contributed to the forecast. Not only has the local and regional economy improved dramatically, but the George R. Brown Convention Center is stimulating demand for hotel rooms.
Also of significant impact, the number of lodging units in the city was reduced during the downturn. In fact, Houston has 5,000 fewer rooms in its inventory today than it did in 1982.
In sharp contrast to 1986 when Houston's hotel occupancy sank to a low of 46 percent, 1990 is off to a rousing start. Last year's rates showed considerable promise, reaching close to 60 percent. Steady improvement through 1989 led L&H to project a citywide average of 62 percent to 63 percent occupancy for 1990. But due to a better-than-anticipated beginning, with February 1990's occupancy at 64.6 percent -- a gain of eight points over February '89 -- that projection "now seems conservative," says Keeling.
March figures for a sample group of 30 hotels locally suggest the industry's rebound will continue, L&H sources say.
Before the construction of a new hotel is warranted, occupancy within a specific sector of the …