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Hotel occupancy, rates rising across SC in 2022

Contributing Writer //May 12, 2022//

Hotel occupancy, rates rising across SC in 2022

Contributing Writer //May 12, 2022//

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By Christina Lee Knauss

Hotels around South Carolina continue to see strong demand for rooms despite reduced service levels caused by ongoing hiring challenges, according to a first quarter 2022 report released by Colliers South Carolina.

According to the report, the average hotel occupancy rate around the state was 66.83% during the first quarter, up from 59.08% percent in the third quarter of 2021 and 49.76% in the fourth quarter of that year.

Average daily rates for hotel rooms and revenue per available room are continuing to increase and, as a result, to offset a rise in operating costs during the first quarter, the report said. On average, hotels are reporting a 20%-30% increase in operating expenses over pre-pandemic levels largely because of staffing challenges. Hotels are dealing with this ongoing worker shortage by reducing daily housekeeping services, training employees to perform duties in multiple areas of service and increasing automation.

The average daily rate for hotel rooms statewide continues to rise and was $126.74 in the first quarter, up from $106.02 in the fourth quarter 2021. Revenue per available room soared to $85.64 compared to $53.15 at the end of 2021.

In Columbia, hotel occupancy dipped at the end of 2021 but rose to 66.15% by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Average daily rates were $114.76, and revenue per available room was $75.58. Occupancy in Greenville/Spartanburg was 72.08% with an ADR of $99.37, and revenue increased to $71.68. In Charleston, occupancy was near peak-season rates at 75%, with an ADR increase to $161.99 and revenue per room at $123.53. The Hilton Head/Beaufort area had the highest average daily rate at $229.70, while Myrtle Beach had a higher-than-expected occupancy rate of 57.47%.

There were several hotel sales around the state during the first quarter, including the 164-room Red Lion Inn & Suites in Columbia, the 121-room Woodspring Suites and 174-room La Quinta Inn and Suites in Charleston, the 202-room Beach House Resort in Hilton Head/Bluffton and a 129-room LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Myrtle Beach. 

Anticipated new hotel openings for the rest of the year include the 144-room Cambria Hotel on Lady Street in downtown Columbia, set to open in June, and the 187-room Grand Bohemian Hotel, which overlooks the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, set to open by the fourth quarter of this year.