After busy weekend, downtown Cleveland hotels continue pandemic recovery

Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 19:26:35-04

CLEVELAND — Coming off a busy weekend with the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony, downtown Cleveland hotels continue to see a return in guests this year after a difficult 2020.

Nationwide numbers from STR, a global hospitality data and analytics company, show the average price of a hotel is actually higher now than pre-pandemic in 2019.

However, the data also shows Cleveland still trails a little bit in the recovery, with the average price of a downtown hotel costing $134 in 2021, compared to $138 in 2019.

"We expect that recovery to continue, but it might take a while,” Patrick Mayock, STR Vice President of Research & Development. This is an area in which the Cleveland market is slightly different from what we're seeing nationally.”

Additionally, STR data shows hotel occupancy for the Cleveland region at 51.9% for January-September 2021, down 12% from the same stretch in 2019.

Much of this recovery to date has been driven by leisure travelers over the summer travel season, coming off of a pandemic where everyone was stuck inside for the majority of a year,” Mayock added. “We saw a lot of pent-up demand. Families wanted to hit the road, they wanted to get out, start traveling again, and they really drove recovery for most of the summer months. As we've worked our way out of the summer, more into conference and business travel season, that's really going to become the key. Now, to what extent is business travel returning to the industry?”

Between the NFL Draft in April, the Rock Hall Induction this past weekend, and the upcoming NBA Draft in February, it’s a busy year for Hilton Cleveland Downtown general manager Teri Agosta.

“What's great about 2022 is we start off with the NBA All-Star game in February," she said. “I mean Cleveland is the it town right now."

Agosta explained the first half of the year in terms of revenue and guests was about 40% of the business compared to 2019, while the second half of the year is closer to 75-80% and growing.

"In the first half of the year, we were still kind of repositioning ourselves," she said. "We had good days and bad days. Now during the second half of the year, it’s quite good and we’re really getting back on track.”

Agosta told News 5 she expects to see the Hilton fully recovered from the pandemic by spring of 2023.

“We’re back,” she said.