Rain brings down June occupancy in Newport/ Middletown hotels

Rainy weekends made June a difficult month for hotels in Newport and Middletown, with a 7.3 percent decline in occupancy compared with last June, according to figures supplied by Discover Newport. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



hospitality and tourism

Rain brings down June occupancy in Newport/ Middletown hotels

COURTESY PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY
THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY saw attendance in June increase 7.3 percent over June 2012, although visitor growth at the Newport Mansions - The Elms is pictured - was not enough to counteract the effects of a wet June, as occupancy at hotels in Newport and Middletown fell 7.3 percent year over year.
Posted 7/23/13

NEWPORT – Rainy weekends made June a difficult month for hotels in Newport and Middletown, with a 7.3 percent decline in occupancy compared with last June, according to figures supplied by Discover Newport.

“The decline was first and foremost disappointing, but not unexpected given it rained almost every weekend in June,” said Evan Smith, the nonprofit’s president and CEO. “Zero to 5 percent is more typical. That (7.3 percent) is a little bit above the Richter scale and an indication of how dismal the weather was.”

The average daily rate (or average room charge) fell 2.5 percent and the revenue per available room, or RevPAR, dropped 9.6 percent, Smith said.

Discover Newport, a nonprofit that promotes the city of Newport and the eight surrounding municipalities in Newport & Bristol counties as business and leisure travel destinations, calculates occupancy rates on a monthly basis.

About 200 or more weddings in June helped counter the overall negative numbers, Smith said.

“If it wasn’t for the strength of weddings, that number would have been even higher, because weddings happen rain or shine, and June is an enormous wedding month,” he said.

Also a factor, perhaps 1 percent of the 7.3 decline, can be attributed to the coming impacts associated with cuts in military spending for sequestration, Smith added.

“One of the questions we’re asking ourselves now is what the impact of the sequester (on the U.S. Navy base and surrounding area) will be,” said Smith. “We know it’ll have an impact; we don’t know how much yet. That’s one we’re really going to have to keep an eye on.”

Despite the occupancy rate decline at hotels, admissions for June at the Preservation Society of Newport County properties, which constitute the major portion of Newport attractions, increased 7.3 percent over last year’s “record pace,” Smith said. When members’ admissions are subtracted out, the increase jumps to 11.7 percent, he said.

“The Newport Mansions represent an enormous market share,” said Smith. “They’re the trendsetter. It’s a bellwether of what attractions are doing, and they share their numbers with us.”

Smith attributed that increase to aggressive marketing in all advertising formats, including traditional marketing, social media and the Web.

“In Newport, we do 80 percent of our revenue from May to October, so when we start to talk about how we’re doing, the real numbers that count to us as a seasonal resort are the numbers that start in May,” he said.

With the mansions holding their own, July is actually looking good so far for hotel lodging, Smith said, so he’s cautiously optimistic.

“I’m anxiously excited to see [July figures],” he said. “We’re wondering how much of the lost ground we can gain back. Our hope and expectation, because we have such strong programming for the rest of the summer is, we believe we can not only make up lost ground but finish with a small positive number. I believe we’re going to be OK.

“Now, Mother Nature could make me eat my words, but I don’t believe it can rain all summer.”

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • 40 Under Forty
    We're almost sold out. The 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planni ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    See who the Healthiest Employers in RI are! And save the date - August 14th - at ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement