The market for hotel rooms in Louisville is the fastest-growing in the nation, according to a new report from CBRE Research.
The city had the biggest year-over-year increase in demand in the first quarter of 2019 at 11.4 percent. That tops the growth in demand nationally at 2.4 percent, according to the report.
This comes after the opening just more than a year ago of the Omni Louisville Hotel, and its more than 600 rooms. Several other hotels also have popped up downtown, in NuLu and the suburbs. And there’s more to come, including a scheduled fall opening for the high-profile, dual-branded Hotel Distil and Moxy Hotel on Whiskey Row.
“This report confirms Louisville’s booming tourism sector is a robust economic driver in our city,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release from the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (Louisville Tourism). “Positive news like this reinforces the work we are doing to attract additional hotel developers, along with growing our airlift routes. Louisville is a rising star and we are looking to keep this momentum going.”
Louisville’s hotel market is quickly absorbing the 1,000 rooms added to downtown over the last year, making a strong case for developers looking to build more hotels, the release says.
CBRE Hotels Americas Research specializes in analyzing and reporting on both the historical and future performance of the lodging industry, according to the news release. It measured the growth performance of the top 60 major markets in the first quarter of this year and Louisville took the top growth spot outranking Nashville, Tenn., Austin, Texas, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. as well as major markets like New York City and San Francisco.
Louisville outpaced Austin and Nashville, producing significant occupancy increases, even with the room supply increase. According to report, the top 10 cities in terms of demand growth are all considered secondary and tertiary (non-coastal) markets — not top tier markets.
“We are seeing tangible results from the tourism industry’s hard work over the last decade to familiarize convention and meeting planners with Louisville, as well as strategizing and pivoting our focus to leisure markets,” said Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism, in the release. “This two-pronged approach has allowed us to fire on all cylinders, validating how strong the Louisville brand has become with collective tourism marketing around our vibrant Bourbon, cultural and culinary assets.”