Downtown Cincinnati hotel market strongest in region

Like most urban cores, downtown Cincinnati boasts a large collection of hotels catering to tourists, business travelers, conventioneers and more.  Downtown counts three Four Diamond Award winning hotels - Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, The Cincinnatian Hotel, The Westin Cincinnati - among its affordable offerings. 

Recently, the downtown hotel market has experienced a surge of interest for a new boutique hotel, raising the question: does it makes good economic sense to develop a new hotel, or will a surplus of available rooms simply cannibalize other existing accommodations? The numbers make the case that things are looking up.

According to Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI), in 2008, downtown Cincinnati compared favorably with the rest of the metropolitan region with a 55 percent occupancy rate, while the three state region that comprises Greater Cincinnati/Hamilton County and Cincinnati USA logged 54.5 and 54.7 percent occupancy rates respectively.  The higher occupancy rate downtown was coupled with a slightly higher rate per night and revenue per available room as well.

Downtown's largest gains have been seen in room rates - the average room rate in Downtown Cincinnati is now $123.49 compared to $89.72 in 2008.  Comparatively, room rates in the rest of the region have remained somewhat stagnant. 

While some of downtown's success was predicted with large conventions booked years in advance, higher than expected room night consumption by some of those conventions have helped raise the numbers tremendously according to DCI.

Most recently, the Garfield Suites Hotel sold out all of its rooms during the three-day Midpoint Music Festival that took place throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

"This was our first time partnering with Midpoint, but we had pretty high expectations going in, and it delivered for us," said Gary Wachs, general manager.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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