Hotel performance in host city Houston for the weekend of the Super Bowl slightly exceeded STR predictions, with RevPAR gains of 356% over the same weekend in 2016.
BROOMFIELD, Colorado—Every year, we look at the impact of the Super Bowl on its host city hotels, both in absolute terms as well as year-over-year change. This is the seventh year of this analysis, and we have been interested to see what the impact would be in Houston, particularly in light of the otherwise depressed hotel performance in that market.
In our pregame analysis, we predicted a Super Bowl weekend revenue-per-available-room increase between 150% and 350%. We're happy to report the actual results even exceeded those expectations, though only slightly.
This year, we broke the data down by locations:
- Overall Houston market; and
- The submarkets of Houston central business district (CBD), Houston Galleria/Greenway Plaza, Houston George Bush Airport Area, Houston Hobby Airport/NASA, Houston Medical Center/Reliant Stadium, Houston North/Woodlands, Houston Northwest Freeway, Houston Southwest Freeway, and Katy Freeway West.
For Super Bowl weekend, the Houston CBD was the occupancy leader, hitting 99% for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights combined of Super Bowl weekend. The Galleria market was a near-match, and the Medical Center/Reliant Stadium submarket (where the game was actually played) also exceeded 90% occupancy for the weekend. All other submarkets surpassed an approximate 80% occupancy level, with the exception the North/Woodlands submarket, which posted a 68.5% occupancy.
Average rates posted huge gains all around, but none greater than CBD hotels, which realized an average daily rate of a whopping $546 for the weekend. Galleria hotels followed close behind (as they did in occupancy), with the Medical Center/Reliant Stadium hotels in third place.
All submarkets experienced a decent spike for the weekend compared to the same weekend last year, but CBD hotels’ average RevPAR increase of 851% was truly surprising. The only other submarket posting a RevPAR increase over 400% was the Galleria area, and even the lowest-gaining submarket (North/Woodlands) still nearly tripled its RevPAR.
So how does this compare to the six previous Super Bowl hosting cities? The following charts examine the comparative impact of all seven host areas, first for the weekend of the Super Bowl itself, and then for the two weeks leading up to the game.
For a market suffering from a sluggish oil industry, Houston hotels certainly enjoyed Super Bowl weekend. The Houston market’s 84.2% occupancy surpassed levels posted by Dallas, San Francisco/San Mateo and New York.
Houston hotels’ average rate performance was second-to-lowest in the past seven Super Bowls, beating out only Dallas (2011). Nonetheless, the $278 ADR posted in Houston 2017 was a significant premium to the last time Houston hosted the Super Bowl in 2004, at which time the average rate for the weekend was $179.
Looking at total RevPAR increases versus the prior year, Houston lines up with historical precedence.
In terms of total RevPAR gains for Super Bowl weekend, Houston’s 356% increase just barely outperformed our highest expectations (150% to 350%), and falls very much in line with the gains seen in Phoenix and New Orleans.
Indianapolis experienced an astounding 1,082% increase in RevPAR during Super Bowl weekend, more than double the next highest increase (Dallas). This makes sense. Of the seven markets, Indianapolis is most commonly the slowest in early February, so it has a lower basis from which to climb.
Dallas and New Orleans also experienced relatively soft weekends the year prior to the Super Bowl, while New York, Phoenix and San Francisco were somewhat busier.
It's important to note that overall gains are also dependent on market size. Markets with many more rooms to fill can end up limited in their RevPAR gains, while smaller markets tend to demonstrate greater pricing power.
Weeks leading up to the game
Looking at the markets for the two weeks prior to and including the Super Bowl, we see yet another story.
Again, Houston’s RevPAR increase for the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl isn’t much of an outlier compared to the prior six events, though it is a bit below average. New York, the largest of the seven markets, had the lowest two-week lead-in growth, while Indianapolis and New Orleans, the smallest of the markets, enjoyed the greatest spikes.
Overall, there’s no question Houston hotels had a Super Bowl performance that exceeded expectations for most.
The market’s performance not only fell in line with many prior performances, it posted the third strongest RevPAR gain of the seven prior Super Bowls, while having the second-highest amount of rooms to fill, behind only New York.
With a weekend RevPAR increase of 356%, Houston hotels rocketed from a slump, if only for a brief moment.
This article represents an interpretation of data collected by STR, parent company of HNN. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.