Waikiki's APEC bump bigger than expected

By Howard Dicus

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu hotel occupancy rose steadily during APEC until it peaked at 87.3 percent on Friday, and room revenue exceeded year-before levels by double-digit percentages.

Hospitality Advisors LLC estimates that Waikiki hotels earned $37.7 million in room revenue between Monday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 12, up $8.7 million from the same period in 2010. This does not include revenue other than room rates, such as food and beverage sales.

At the request of HawaiiNewsNow, Hospitality Advisors released some data early and added day-by-day breakdowns which it does not usually issue at all. What the data shows is a substantial "APEC bump."

Waikiki occupancy started at 75.8 percent on Monday, rising to 77.5 percent on Tuesday, 82.2 percent on Wednesday, 87.0 percent Thursday and 97.3 percent on Friday, easing to 83.8 percent Saturday, Hospitality Advisors reported.

Average daily room rates were above $200 a night on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is unusual for Waikiki, where oceanfront rooms are usually more than that but other rooms can be much cheaper.

Factoring room rates and room sales together yields "revpar," revenue per available room, the fundamental metric of hotel performance; this was up from year-ago levels by 14.7 percent Monday, rising to 53 percent higher Thursday.

The occupancy and revenue figures, based on data from most hotels in Waikiki, show a broad favorable economic benefit, welcome news after some individual restaurateurs and shopkeepers reported in the first days of APEC that their own sales were poor. There are winners and losers in any major economic event, but the hotel room sales figures suggest a substantial net favorable impact.

Sources in the Waikiki hotel community have said that some hotels didn't get all the food and beverage sales they hoped for, but the lead executives of both Outrigger and Starwood (Sheraton, Westin) reported very strong revenues beyond room sales.

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