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Hotel stays in Newport Beach are up

Industry is apparently leading the Orange County market, according to report from the city's destination marketing company.

July 21, 2012|By Jenny Stockdale
(DAILY PILOT )

Newport Beach's hotel business is on the rise, the city's destination marketing company reported to the City Council last week during its 2013 annual budget submission.

"Our industry is thriving," Visit Newport Beach's Gary Sherwin said. "It's actually performing better than much of our competitive set."

Summarizing a 136-page annual marketing plan, Sherwin, Visit Newport's president and chief executive, contended that the city's hotel industry — comprised of 17 major hotels that provide 2,900 hotel rooms and 17,000 square feet of meeting space — is leading Orange County's market.

The plan cited travel-related data from numerous hospitality consulting services, including Smith Travel Research Global and PKF Consulting, and identified international, regional and local travel projections for the coming fiscal year.

Sherwin's presentation highlighted four major categories used to gauge hotel business: occupancy average, or the number of rooms occupied as a ratio to the number of rooms available; average daily rate, which is the average price of all the rooms sold by the hotel at any given day; revenue per available room, known as RevPAR; and general revenue.

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Though tourism is up locally and nationally, Sherwin said many hotels are not burgeoning in all four categories like Newport is.

According to the presentation, Newport's RevPAR — the best indicator of how the industry is doing because it includes figures from the average occupancy and the average daily rate — is up 13.4% from May 2011, at $132.28 per available room. It's projected to increase in the coming fiscal year to $148.68 per room.

Increased local hotel traffic usually generates more revenue for city services from the state's transient occupancy tax, or TOT, which is charged for overnight stays. City tax data indicates that TOT projections for fiscal year 2012 are about $13.3 million, slightly higher than the year before.

"These numbers are very important," Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry said at Tuesday's council meeting. "It's clear by the evidence you presented that [the TOT] does in fact drive revenue to the city.

"It is these revenues from people who are not residents and not taxpayers here locally, but visitors who pay for and subsidize our public services, our police, firemen, lifeguards and the quality of life we all enjoy … the tourism industry are the economic engines in Newport Beach that keep our finances strong and sustainable going forward."

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