2017 Was A No-Growth Year for CT Hotel Industry; 2018 Brings Lower Rates

The Connecticut Lodging Association reports that the state’s hotel and lodging occupancy numbers were flat in 2017, with “little to no growth.”  The state’s occupancy numbers have “considerable room to grow” this year, in comparison to the New England Market.  The membership association also notes that one of the traditionally strongest regions of the state, the Stamford market, declined in 2017, while the neighboring New York market remained stable. “The Stamford market historically has the highest occupancy numbers in Connecticut,” officials point out, noting that “with business travel, leisure and New York City overflow, this market is generally stable and measure equal occupancy to New England’s numbers.  That wasn’t true in 2017, and they warn that “Stamford’s declining trend may be a forecast for other Connecticut markets.”

Overall, data for Connecticut compiled by the American Hotel & Lodging Association indicate that the state’s 400 properties in the hotel industry generate 55,000 hospitality jobs and 27,00 hotel hobs, which result in $4.4 billion guest spending at hotels, local businesses and on transportation.  The industry contributes $5.1 billion to GDP.

Connecticut has the highest combined lodging and sales tax in the nation at 15 percent, according to HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment’s most recent state-by-state study in 2017, one of just five states in double digits along with Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Adding in local lodgings taxes in many cities nationally — Connecticut law does not allow it — 34 cities have higher combined rates than in Connecticut, HVS determined, none in the Northeast. St. Louis led the nation in 2017 at nearly 18 percent, with New York City highest in the Northeast with a 14.75 percent rate that is only a fraction below that of Connecticut, Hearst newspapers recently reported.

Earlier this month, a survey by BostonHotels.org found that Hartford and Stamford hotels offer the lowest rates for travelers in New England, with hotel stays averaging $107 per night in the Capitol City and $126 in Stamford. Among the other New England cities with low hotel rates are in North Conway, N.H. ($117), Groton ($119), and Lincoln, N.H. ($124).

The survey reviewed hotel rates at 30 popular destinations in New England during August. Hotels in New Haven ranked 19th (most expensive in Connecticut) with rooms averaging $174 a day and Mystic at 21st with rooms costing $168.

The most expensive in New England?  Martha's Vineyard, Mass. ($362), Kennebunkport, Maine ($347), Chatham, Mass. ($324), Portland, Maine ($294) and Provincetown, Mass. ($284). Boston ranked 9th, at $224.