The U.S. hotel industry is moving along, with 186,945 rooms under construction as of June. That represents a 12.4% increase compared with June 2016, according to research firm STR’s latest pipeline report.
Hoteliers are also investing in renovations across the country. Here’s a roundup of some notable openings, updates and brand developments.
Choice hotels courts the upscale market
Choice Hotels, better known for economy brands such as Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge, is expanding its presence in the upscale market with its growing Cambria Hotels and Ascend Collection.
“We’ve come to the realization that we have customers who are trading up and need brands that are trading up,” says Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice.
Right now there are 175 properties in the Ascend Collection, which are independent hotels that take advantage of Choice Hotels’ marketing and distributions system.
In all, 235 Ascend hotels are open or under development worldwide, with 45 set to open this year.
Meanwhile, Cambria Hotels has 31 properties. By the end of the year, it will open nine more, and break ground on another 18. The company has contracts for 52 other locations.
Cambria has broken into the West Coast market. Cambria Los Angeles International Airport has just opened. Future openings will occur in downtown L.A., Anaheim, Glendale, Napa and Sonoma.
The brand will also increase its presence in Texas, in cities such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
While Cambria properties have been new construction, the company is now going to focus more on adaptive re-use projects, re-purposing historic buildings.
The new Cambria Chicago-Loop, for instance, is situated above the historic Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. At one point, the building was a mosaic temple.
“We’re protecting (the buildings) and carrying them…