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COVID-19 hasn’t put hotel construction or renovations on hold

Los Angeles tops five metros that accounted for 15% of the country’s pipeline.

July 29, 2020 |

This year, Proper Hospitality is scheduled to open a 148-room hotel in an upgrade of the historical 1920s-era venue in downtown Los Angeles that previously had served as a private club and a YMCA.  Image: Proper Hospitality

The City of Angels continues to be the City of Hotels. Los Angeles is expected to add 14 hotels with nearly 3,100 rooms in the second half of 2020, and a total of 50 hotels with 10,436 rooms in the next four years, according to the TopHotelProjects construction database. Of those 50 hotels, 33 will be in the four-star category, and 17 will be in the five-star designation.

For the fourth consecutive quarter, Los Angeles was the top hotel construction market, with 163 projects and 27,415 rooms in its pipeline in the second quarter of 2020, according to Portsmouth, N.H.-based Lodging Econometrics.

Trailing L.A. was Dallas, with 158 projects and 19,314 rooms in its pipeline; New York City, with 151 projects and 26,302 rooms; Atlanta, with 135 projects and 18,634 rooms; and Houston, with 122 projects and 12,486 rooms.

These five markets accounted for 15% of the rooms in the U.S. hotel pipeline. The country’s total hotel construction pipeline stood at 5,582 projects and 687,801 rooms in the second quarter, down only 1% from the same period a year ago. “Contrary to what is being experienced in hotel operations, the pipeline remains robust as interest rates are at all-time lows,” states Lodging Econometrics.

New York had the greatest number of projects under construction in the second quarter: 106 with 18,354 rooms. L.A. was next, with 48 projects and 8,077 rooms being built., followed by Atlanta, Dallas, and Nashville (37 projects and 6,597 rooms). These five markets accounted for nearly one-fifth of the rooms under construction in the U.S.

All told, 1,771 projects with 235,467 rooms were under construction nationwide, up 3% and 1%, respectively, from the second quarter in 2019.

During the first half of this year, the U.S. opened 313 hew hotels with 36,992 rooms, and added 481 projects with 56,823 rooms to its pipeline. However, new project announcements in the second quarter fell by 53% compared to the same period last year.


Lodging Econometrics also recorded 1,276 active renovation and conversion projects with an aggregate 217,865 rooms across the country. Chicago lead the way with 28 projects and 4,717 rooms, followed by Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

Nationwide, there were 1,465 active renovation projects with 314,043 rooms, and 1,196 active conversion projects with 136,110 rooms in the first half of this year.

Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on operating performance, development in the lodging industry continues. In the first half of 2020, Dallas recorded the highest count of new projects announced into the pipeline with 18 projects and 2,018 rooms. Washington D.C. followed with 14 projects and 1,978 rooms, then Phoenix with 13 projects and 1,397 rooms, Miami with 10 projects and 2,472 rooms, and the Florida Panhandle with nine projects and 1,178 rooms.

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