The new hotels opening in Nashville this month are not cheap, but tourism officials hope the increased competition will start to bring down the rates in the region, which are right now among the highest in the country.
"We've got about another year," says Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. — the organization tasked with trying to get people to visit Nashville and fill those rooms.
By next summer, he estimates, prices will start to drop. His reasoning is this: There are more than 3,500 hotel rooms under construction right now. Multiply that by 365, and that's more than a million additional room nights a year.
In tourism math, this translates to about half a million additional visitors. And even Spyridon, marketer-in-chief of Nashville, doesn't think the visitor count will grow that much next year.
Right now, he says, hotels in downtown have about a 90 percent occupancy rate on weekends. "Everybody's been able to push the rate up, because customers are willing to pay it," he says.
But with the extra rooms, occupancy rates will start to drop, and price will follow.
"By no means am I'm going to tell you it's going back to where it was five years ago," Spyridon says. "But there will be some normalcy to it, and there will be times you can find really good deals."
Still, the hotels slated to open in the next six months are likely to stay at a high price tier. Thompson in the Gulch, Kimpton in Midtown and 21c Museum in downtown are all marketed as luxury or boutique.
The 27-story Westin, which opened this week across from the Music City Center, starts at $379 a night on the weekend before Thanksgiving. That's $120 more than the cheapest room on the same weekend at the Westin in Midtown Manhattan.