Jul022009

Will 4th of July Weekend be a Bust for Hotels?

The question from Kelley perked up my attention. “What if the  4th of July holiday turns out to be a total bust for hotels?”

I talk to her about hotel travel frequently – more than she wants to hear. And Kelley was throwing a conversation starter at me yesterday as we drove to Santa Clara, California – 80 miles from Monterey – for the 21st weekday in a row to the Cancer Treatment Center of Kaiser Hospital. The best part of three hours a day driving together in the car is the opportunity to talk our heads off.

This is the year without a summer vacation for us and it seems like many others are going through similar travel droughts, although likely for other reasons.

We spend significant hours on the freeways. From our house we drive downhill to Highway 1 for 20 miles around Monterey Bay to Highway 156 (5 miles) to Highway 101 for 40 miles, to Highway 85 along the south end of San Jose (3 miles) to Highway 87 (5 miles) into downtown San Jose, then head west on Interstate 280 for 5 miles, and we are in Santa Clara and the Kaiser hospital.

My primary point about our extensive daily freeway travel is we just are not seeing travelers in cars loaded with suitcases and gear for a summer trip. Normally these roads are packed with RVs, trucks with boat trailers, and cars with loaded bike racks.

Where are the travelers this summer?

And Kelley asked, “What if the 4th of July holiday is a bust for hotels?”

San Francisco Hotel Rates slashed to new lows 48 hours before the 4th of July weekend

Last night I checked hotel rates for the San Francisco Bay Area and the rates dropped significantly on Wednesday, July 1 from the rates I surveyed 24 hours earlier on Tuesday, June 30.

Rate changes are not that unusual, however, I have followed the hotel rates in San Francisco since late April when Starwood and InterContinental Hotels Group announced their free hotel night promotions. Several hotels in San Francisco dropped rates yesterday to the lowest rates I’ve seen since beginning my data collection for the July 4 weekend on April 30.

I predict this is going to be a bad 4th of July holiday season for hotels in the USA.


 

San Francisco Starwood Hotel Rates Comparative Observations

July 3-5 weekend

April 30

May 19

June 30 check

July 1 Check

Westin Market Street

$149

$139

$119

$99

St. Regis

$295

$359

$295

$295

The Palace Hotel

$199

$229

$199

$135

Westin Verasa Napa

No rooms available

No rooms available

$191

$191

Sheraton Palo Alto

$359

$359

$99

$99

Westin Palo Alto

$409

$409

$129

$129

W Hotel

$174

$169

$191

$191

I filed a couple of Best Rate Guarantee claims for Le Meridien San Francisco based on discrepancies I saw yesterday. $103.35 is quite the deal for the Le Meridien Hotel.

San Francisco Hotel Bargains for July 4 weekend

July 3-5 weekend

July 1 Check

Mandarin Oriental

$199

JW Marriott

$179

Fairmont SF

$179

InterContinental SF

$159

Clift Hotel

$134

Westin St. Francis

$135

Hilton Financial District

$129

Omni San Francisco

$149

Hotel Monaco (Kimpton)

$149

 

How do hotel rates look this July 4th for your area?

 

 

 July 9 update: Smith Travel Research numbers for the week of July 4 were posted today. The occupancy decline across US hotels was about 6% for the week. Friday, July 3 showed an 8.2% decline in occupancy and 9.4% decline in average daily rate when compared to 2008 data. Saturday, July 4 showed a 4.3% decline in occupancy and a 5.3% decline in average room rate.

I call that a busted holiday weekend.

San Diego was one of the top hotel destinations in the country with a greater than 5% increase in occupancy over last year. I guess those high rates in San Diego last week were really due to a lot of hotel guests, although the occupancy average still came in at just 74.9% for the week.

New York still looks like the rate bargain destination compared to the prevailing rates over the past few years.

Source: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/articles.aspx?ArticleId=1499

 

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. I’m in Phoenix this weekend and there are two SPG properties that are offering $59 base rates. Combined with a SET code they can be less than $60 with taxes. Booked one to top off on the FFN promo.

  2. I just read this article today about San Diego Mission Bay and its hopes for a good weekend. Rates are certainly higher in San Diego than a month ago when no hotels were over $200 per night.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tourism-missionbay2-2009jul02,0,3731224.story

    Surprisingly most Starwood Hotels in San Diego show no availability on Starwood hotels site.

    USA Today had this article about the incredibly low rates in Las Vegas this summer:
    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/hotels/2009-07-02-las-vegas-deals_N.htm

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