Weighing the Hospitality Boom in LA
By Karen Jordan
The number of hotels being built in LA is exploding.
Are they too much of a good thing?
Atlas Hospitality Group president Alan Reay said LA County has 40 hotels under construction with more than 7,000 rooms.
The last record was 10 years ago with 1,400 rooms, Alan told our moderator, Pankow project executive Peter Loeb , and the more than 200 people who attended the recent Bisnow LA Hospitality Development Boom event at the Omni Hotel in DTLA.
The US leads the world in the number of hotels under construction with LA the No. 3 market after New York and Houston, according to Alan.
He said the question now is whether LA is overbuilding. Alan said it could be an issue in the short term compared to other convention center markets.
However, many conferences have bypassed LA in the past because of the lack of hotel rooms.
There are also certain incentives fueling the boom, HKS senior designer Jessica Sager said.
They include the transient occupancy transit rebate that her firm has seen used by a client in Anaheim.
Brands are also working hard these days to create a “unique experience” for guests, she said.
The amenities at various hotels in LA and Anaheim and statewide are part of a curated experience for the guest.
These can include oversized, flexible conference spaces or rooftop bars.
Ollie regional director of business development Ellen Parry said her firm has also had to tackle the challenge of creating a “lifestyle experience” targeted at a specific group.
When Ollie was first formed two years ago, she said the firm thought its target audience was Millennials and branded along those lines.
That changed, however, when it became clear one out of four inquiries for people interested in moving into two of its New York properties were people over the age of 40, according to Ellen.
As a result, Ollie discovered ways to make design choices that don’t eliminate specific age groups, she said.