Nashville's Hotel Boom Isn't Over, But Experts Say Slowing Demand Is A Cause For Concern | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville's Hotel Boom Isn't Over, But Experts Say Slowing Demand Is A Cause For Concern

Oct 30, 2017

Nashville’s hotels might be growing a little too quickly.

A recent report on the city’s hospitality market suggests that hotels around town may have some trouble filling the thousands of new rooms they’ve built.

Hotel occupancy from January to August was down compared to 2016, according to the new report from industry analytics firm STR.

Bobby Bowers, one of the people behind the numbers, says it’s all about supply: the number of new hotel rooms in Nashville is outpacing new visitors.

“Yeah, you’ve had a lot of supply that’s been added to the market over the last few years, and still a pretty good bit out there that’s still yet to be added that’s under construction.”

Bower’s is referring to the nearly 3,500 new rooms the city says will be built between now and the end of next year.

Despite the declining rates, Bowers says the sinking numbers aren’t cause for alarm just yet. He says this type of contraction is fairly typical in growing markets, and as long as demand for rooms continues to grow, Nashville hotels will thrive.

However, STR’s data also suggests that Nashville’s hotels aren’t taking on as many new customers as they used to. Bowers says bringing more visitors to Nashville is what the industry needs to worry about.

“Definitely, if I’m a hotel guy in Nashville, you at least have to have that in the back of your mind.”

Nashville Convention and Visitor Corporation president Butch Spyridon seems to agree. In a statement, Spyridon said Nashville “has done a pretty good job of absorbing the new supply,” but keeping demand up should be a top priority.

It’s worth noting that Spyridon and other top tourism officials warned hotels last year that climbing hotel prices might scare off future visitors.