NYC hotels primed to bounce back sooner than expected: study

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If you’ve noticed the large crowds coming and going from the new Hard Rock hotel on West 48th Street and the new Riu on West 47th, you might wonder: What happened to the hotel-industry crash we keep hearing about?

In fact, the city’s pandemic-ravaged hotel scene is going to be just fine — and a lot sooner than many analysts have said, according to an eye-opening study by CBRE, the commercial real estate services and investment firm.

“The hotel sector has begun to rebound and is poised to return  to pre-pandemic levels in both occupancy and ADR [average daily room rates] by 2024,” said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of CBRE Hotels Advisory covering the northeast.

The brokerage foresees strong hotel performance this year and beyond based on first-quarter 2022 results. It projects a nearly 30% jump in ADR and annual occupancy rising to 77.2% next year and 82% by 2024.

CBRE also predicted  that a key metric of hotel performance — revenue per available room, or RevPAR — will rise by 75% this year over last.

But wait, didn’t Crain’s report hotel occupancy at only 56% in February? Didn’t this newspaper recently report gloomy tidings from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs — which said that business-travel hotel and tourism revenue in the Big Apple this year would be 55% lower than in 2019?

Well, projections often disagree. But we’ll put our money on CBRE’s cheerier forecast. Why? For one thing, CBRE’s findings are based on the first months of 2022, which are typically slow months — not on last year or the year before. And the “tourism” industry cited by the Hotel & Lodging Association includes many more kinds of businesses than hotels.

So maybe the new Ritz-Carlton Nomad, Virgin and several other fancy inns opening later this year aren’t in as much of a pickle as doomsayers have claimed.