Seattle's Hotel Boom Could Go Bust

Seattle has added 2,550 hotel rooms since the beginning of 2017, with another 3,000 on the way by 2021.
November 3, 2018, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Mark, a 43 story hotel and office building rises in Seattle in 2016.
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Paul Roberts reports on booming hotel construction in Seattle, where 3,000 more rooms are expected to enter the market by 2021.

The story is timed to coincide with the December opening of the Hyatt Regency at Eighth Avenue and Howell Street, which will become the largest hotel in Washington State.

"With its 1,260 rooms, spacious conference facilities, and proximity to the planned expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, the Hyatt is key to Seattle’s ambitions to play in the big leagues of the convention business and bid for massive corporate events that only a handful of American cities can currently handle," adds Roberts.

While convention center-based economic development is a familiar and hotly-debated proposition in cities all over country, Seattle has a larger context beyond the walls of the Hyatt to consider.

"By the time the Hyatt opens, Seattle’s downtown hotel market will have grown by a stunning 2,550 rooms since January 2017, or more than five times the number of rooms the city added in the two previous years, according to Visit Seattle, which markets the city’s hospitality and tourism sectors. Regionwide, there are roughly 65 new or under-development hotels across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties," explains Roberts.

The reality of an oversaturated market is settling in. Average revenue per available room, the standard metric for the hotel industry's well being, has leveled off or even declined since 2017, reports Roberts.

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Published on Friday, November 2, 2018 in The Seattle Times
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