Hotels increase rates as well as choices

March 30, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

With the average daily hotel rate increasing by more than 6 percent last year, to $71.73, after almost a 5 percent jump in 1995, travelers continue to find life on the open road ever more costly.

But if they can complain about prices, they cannot complain about lack of variety. Between 1980 and 1996, according to a new Coopers & Lybrand analysis, 113 new chains were introduced in the lodging industry -- 10 in just the past 12 months. While many have since failed, the forecast is for even more hotel brands.

Last month in Newport Beach, Va., Marriott International opened its first Towne Place Suites, an extended-stay property that charges less than $65 a night. La Quinta Inns opened its first mid-priced suites property in Addison, Texas, eight months ago; it already has 11 more up and running and is on schedule to have a total of 36 by the end of the year.

While just over half the new chains introduced between 1980 and 1995 have survived, Coopers & Lybrand said, the survivors changed the face of the industry by offering so many choices and price ranges. And the proliferation will continue, the report says, as hotel companies "seek new and untapped markets, introduce new lodging concepts and increasingly differentiate their brands from existing and emerging competitors."

Pub Date: 3/30/97

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