Hotel revenue at highest since 2008

Taxable room revenues at hotels in Washoe County increased a whopping 33 percent in January over the same period last year, the sixth straight month that rates have risen, according to figures released by the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority.

Despite a slow start to the ski season and the absence of Safari Club International, data from the RSCVA show taxable room revenues for hotels in Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe were a little over $4 million from last year, totaling $16.5 million.

Tourism officials said January is in keeping with December, also a strong month, where taxable hotel room revenues increased $1.5 million over December 2013.

Indeed, business at hotels has shown improvement for the last six months. The last three months have been fairly significant, posting increases of taxable revenue of more than $1.5 million for each month year over year.

“What is especially exciting is that every one of the 30 hotels that the RSCVA tracks were up significantly in revenues over last January, driven both by increased visitor volume and a more aggressive average room rate, which grew by an impressive $9.06 over 2014,” said Christopher Baum, president and CEO of the RSCVA.

The RSCVA attributed the turnaround to a number of factors, including a good base of meeting and convention business booked by the tourism agency, resort sales teams and strong leisure travel demand.

The uptick in business echoes a national trend over the last year — an impressive growth in corporate business travelers coming to the area to serve the list of companies moving here, from Tesla and Ashima Devices to Cenntro Automotive and Clear Capital and many more.

“The RSCVA has been closely watching the performance of the area’s non-gaming, nationally-branded hotels — Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Place — since last fall, and they are averaging monthly, year-over-year growth of more than 20 percent from new corporate business travelers coming to Reno and Sparks,” according to Baum.

“We expect this trend to accelerate in the coming months, as more and more suppliers are called to northern Nevada to sell to, and service, our rapidly growing business community,” said Baum.

“We obviously need to keep charging more for our hotel rooms for the rest of 2015 to keep up with national trends, which project room rate growth of five-to-six percent, and maximize profitability for northern Nevada’s tourism industry,” he added.


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