Sunday, October 25, 2020

Autumn in New York This Year is a Disaster for the Hotel Industry

The Omni Berkshire Place Hotel is closing permanently.

October is often the New York hotel market’s busiest month. The occupancy rate clocked in at 92% and the average daily rate ran $336 in 2019. Last week, the average daily price for a room was $135 and occupancies were hovering under 40%, according to lodging data firm STR. Local operators say that number is inflated because many hotels have stopped reporting data, while others are relying on government contracts that won’t last forever.

Government travel restrictions that require visitors from many states to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York pose another huge barrier for tourists and corporate travelers alike.

“The true hotel occupancy is less than 10%,” said Vijay Dandapani, chief executive officer of the Hotel Association of New York City. “Hotels have theoretically been able to be open, but in many cases it’s pointless.”

Industry executives say as many as 20% of the city’s rooms may permanently close. The Omni Berkshire Place, the midtown hotel where Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the musical Oklahoma!, has told guests that it will never reopen.

Many of the hotels that have opened are operating with reduced services. At the Pierre, for instance, the concierge clocks out at 5 p.m. and room service typically stops after breakfast 


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