I flew out of London Heathrow on February 22, the day it was becoming clear there was a serious coronavirus epidemic accelerating through northern Italy. A week later the spread of Covid-19 through Europe and growing concern for outbreaks in Washington and California indicated a pandemic was happening. Multinational companies started shutting down travel. The testing debacle for people in the USA kept us in a state of uncertainty as to how widespread the cases of Covid-19 are in the USA.
Today is the beginning of a shelter-in-place order for 7 million residents of California. Monterey County is not yet part of this shutdown, though I expect that to change today. Seven counties north of Monterey County are part of the shelter-in-place. I can see across Monterey Bay to the Santa Cruz County coast from my windows. 30 miles across the bay is shelter-in-place. I purchased enough groceries to get through the next month. I have no need to leave home until sometime in April.
Last Saturday, I could have booked an $800 business class round trip on Delta from Budapest to San Francisco for late July and back to Europe for Christmas. As I studied Covid-19 data that morning, I became convinced that international travel will be fucked up through summer.
$162 room rates at Hyatt Highlands Inn are amazing, though not enticing in the age of Covid-19.
Hotel data for first week of March
Hotel News Now has posted STR hotel data for London and USA for March 1-7, 2020
Occupancy: down 7.3% to 61.8%.
Average Daily Rate: down 4.6% to $126.01
Revenue per available room: down 11.6% to $77.82.
Hyatt Highlands Inn rates this week remind me of 2009 when the rates at luxury hotels were the first hotel market segment to crash. During the great recession room rates at high end hotels fell the fastest and most. Unfortunately, this time around the Covid-19 pandemic means few people will have the ability to take advantage of these lower rates for the foreseeable future.
San Francisco had the largest drop in average room rates for US markets, down 30.4% to $212.61. This will likely drop far more in next week’s data based on room rates I saw last week.
I have watched hotel rates in California decline significantly over the past two weeks. Next week’s numbers should show an even larger drop and the week after that will start reflecting the impact of hotels with the restrictive shutdown of travel across the country this week.
IHG Hotel Rates San Francisco March 30, 2020
February preliminary data (compared with February 2019):
- Occupancy: -2.3% to 76.3%
- Average daily rate (ADR): +0.3% to GBP133.57
- Revenue per available room (RevPAR): -2.1% to GBP101.91
1-8 March preliminary data (compared with corresponding week in 2019):
- Occupancy: -21.0% to 65.5%
- ADR: -8.5% to GPB 128.39
- RevPAR: -27.7% to GPB 84.14
As the sergeant of the 1980s television show Hill Street Blues would say at the end of his roll call briefing –
“Let’s be careful out there.”