According to Lodging Econometrics (LE) the number of new hotel rooms entered into the construction pipeline reached an all-time high of 125,442.
In total, there are 779,307 guestrooms and 5,807 projects in the pipeline.
LE President Patrick Ford says the pipeline has seen increases since 2004.
“The pipeline continues to soar,” he says.
“It’s a 60,920-room boost, an 8.5 percent increase over Q4 2007, and the 29th consecutive quarterly increase dating back to 2004.
“Although offset by rising cancellations and by new hotel openings coming online in the first quarter, the pipeline surprisingly continued to grow at a rapid pace,” said Ford.
Ford says the global credit crisis is having some effect on hotel construction, but smaller properties remain largely unaffected.
“Developers remain bullish about the future,” he says.
“For hotels under 200 rooms in the upscale, mid-market and economy sectors, financing is still available, albeit at much more difficult terms.
“At this time, regional banks and dedicated national lodging real estate lenders continue to be less constrained by the lending crisis.”
LE says the developers see the softening economy throughout 2008 and 2009 as a shallow downturn, viewing the lodging industry as a quite healthy, attractive investment class likely to bounce back quickly.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh