South Florida hotel rates expected to keep climbing, experts say

While hotels in South Florida are no longer seeing giant leaps in occupancy, hospitality experts said at a conference this week that revenue growth is expected to come from higher room rates.

In April, hotels in Miami-Dade and Broward were just over 81 percent full, according to travel research firm STR. That represented growth of 2 percentage points in Miami and 5 in Broward compared to April of last year. But rates increased by more than 13 percent in Miami-Dade and 12 percent in Broward.

“It’s a major push on rate right now, and we certainly expect that to continue throughout the cycle,” said Rick Rush, vice president of hospitality investments and acquisitions for hotel management company Destination Hotels & Resorts.

The company operates the Eden Roc Miami Beach, which hosted the Global Hotel Market Connections conference Wednesday.

The Miami office of HVS Consulting & Valuation, a hospitality industry research and consulting firm, put on the event.

John Lancet, a director and partner at HVS Miami, said that more than 5,000 rooms are under construction in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, adding to the roughly 94,000 rooms already available. Another 10,350 rooms are in the planning phase, he said.

That added supply could threaten plans to increase room rates, Lancet warned.

“I am of the opinion that new supply will impact growth potential and may impede growth in certain markets,” he said.