Impact of 570 new Saskatoon hotel rooms in 2015

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That’s a 14% increase over the 2014 room count of 4,076. The new properties are Hampton Inn & Suites and Mainstay Suites in the Airport area, Best Western Plus on 8th St, Home Inn & Suites on Preston and a Hampton Inn & Suites in Stonebridge.

Impact on the market

It’s impossible to see that much new development in one year without it impacting occupancy rates. Especially at a time when our city growth is slowing. I predict a 5 – 10 per cent drop in overall occupancy for a couple of years. The market recovery will obviously be dependent upon how quickly that growth returns and the number of new rooms added in the coming years.

Why the interest in Saskatoon?

It’s not hard to understand the unprecedented interest in Saskatoon from hospitality sector investors. There was a period in 2013 – 2014 when we were reporting the highest occupancy in Canada.

During that same period the average daily rate was hovering around $150.00. Those two combined factors spell profit, even when applied to the cost of new construction and rising land prices. It was only a matter of time before those numbers translated into more rooms.

What’s in the future

We see only one new property opening in 2016; a 120 room Marriot Town & Suites on Preston Ave. Already on the drawing board on College Drive for 2017 is a new 117 room Holiday Inn Express as well as an 86 room Staybridge Suites.

We are asked if we believe there is room in our market for further expansion in the foreseeable future. My response….there is room only for patient money. Opportunity exists if investors are anxious to enter our market and find below market returns acceptable for a few years.

Let’s hope my predictions are incorrect. Anything you might know that could challenge these thoughts?

Posted by Barry Stuart

 

 

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