The Smith Travel Research Report (“STR”) for the first half of 2014 is now available on the Visit California website .
Once again the STR Report paint a mixed picture for Central Coast Tourism and the local hospitality industry.
Overall for the state of California in the first half of 2014 vs. same period 2013, the all important “RevPAR” (Revenue per Available Room) is up 10.7%. The Central Coast as a whole is doing better than average: up 11.2% over the same period, only bested by the San Diego area (up 11.3%) and the San Francisco Bay area (up 13.7%). As readers of this blog know, the Bay area has been going gangbusters for several year, making this latest surge even more impressive.
However, within the Central Coast, Oxnard/Ventura RevPAR was up 14.1% for the first half, Santa Barbara/Santa Maria up 12.0%, Monterey / Salinas up 10.1%, with the San Luis Obispo / Paso Robles region bringing up the rear with a 9.5% increase (below the state average.) RevPAR growth closely matched increase in rooms sold: Oxnard/Ventura demand up 8.6%, with SLO demand only increasing 3.9%. (This is also below state average increase of 4.2%.)
Even the actual room rates rates achieved in the SLO/Paso Robles region suffer in comparison. For the first half of 2014, average RevPAR for the state was $97.56, Santa Barbara / Santa Maria $110.57, Monterey / Salinas $106.41. SLO RevPAR was $82.20 – only barely edging out the Ventura / Oxnard area of $79.55.
It makes one wonder why there is another boom of building new hotels and motels in SLO County: below average demand growth, below average RevPAR, and below average RevPAR growth don’t exactly scream need for more capacity… Why is this area so attractive for builders???? Thoughts?