Metro Atlanta to add more than 2,000 hotel rooms in 2017

Metro Atlanta will experience a mini-boom in new hotel rooms in 2017 as strong demand has convinced lodging companies to increase supply.

At least 2,100 new rooms are expected to come online in the next 12 months, an increase of 2.2 percent over 2016, industry observers said. That compares to an increase of just one-half percent in the number of added rooms in 2015.

That would bring the metro area’s total number of hotel rooms to about 97,500.

“New hotel construction in Atlanta has begun to accelerate because of a very, very positive business environment,” said Mark Woodworth, senior managing director and head of lodging research for analytics firm CBRE Hotels.

The room growth could have an impact on daily rates, however. More rooms would mean daily rate — the amount hotels charge for lodging — will likely increase only 4.4 percent next year instead of the 5.9 percent increase in 2016, Woodworth said.

Metro Atlanta’s hotel health is important because it brings in billions to the area annually and employs thousands, especially in downtown Atlanta’s convention central business district. It also helps drive work for cab drivers, laundry services, restaurants and cultural attractions.

“Job creation in metro Atlanta has been strong and I also credit the leadership at the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in helping Atlanta penetrate group meeting demand,” Woodworth added in explaining Atlanta lodging health.

Hotels also are critical in accommodating visitors to the metro area, which reached 51.5 million in 2015, said William Pate, president of the ACVB.

“When things are good, you have to keep stepping on the accelerator,” Pate said.

Hotels under construction include Duluth’s 166-room Embassy Suites, the 264-room Omni Hotel at SunTrust Park’s Battery Atanta in Cobb County and the Solis Hotel with 214 rooms at Porsche’s North American headquarters near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Also on the drawing board is an InterContinental Hotel at Hartsfield, several Midtown Atlanta projects including a lodger for nascent upscale brand SLS, and an 800-room behemoth at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Atlanta will host 18 citywide conventions in 2017, including a lucrative hematology convention for the medical profession, Pate said. Citywides are conventions so large they book hotels from downtown to the airport and Perimeter area.

The city also has planned a summit next year with China to showcase the metro area to tourists from the Far East. At least, 72,000 Chinese visitors came to metro Atlanta in 2015, Pate said.

“That’s a huge opportunity for the city,” he said.

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