The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. announced today that March marked the single-greatest number of hotel rooms sold in one month in the city’s history, surpassing October 2013’s record by nearly 7 percent.
According to Smith Travel Research (STR) numbers, more than 640,000 hotel rooms in Nashville and Davison County sold in March. Among the top 25 U.S. markets for March, Nashville had the second largest increases in rooms sold, average daily rate, revenue per available room and hotel revenue. Nashville was in the top five nationally for occupancy growth, the NCVC reported. (Read more here.)
The STR numbers for March show occupancy tax collections, a key indicator for performance in the hospitality industry, were $4.75 million, an increase of 33.9 percent over March 2013 numbers. Tax collections year-to-date are approximately $31.3 million, an increase of about 20.2 percent over year-to-date in 2013. Since December 2010, Nashville’s hotel occupancy tax collections have experienced 39 consecutive months of growth, the NCVC reports.
“Once again we are seeing unprecedented growth in Nashville’s hospitality industry,” Ed Hardy, chairman of the NCVC Board of Directors, said in a release. “As we set our fifth record for most rooms sold in one month, the numbers are reaching incredible heights.”
The strong March figures are tempered by below-projection numbers tallied since the fiscal year started on July 1. Of note, the Music City Center convention facility and the Omni Nashville Hotel had opened prior to that.
As Metro leaders were considering tax incentives for the Omni in 2010, Chicago-based consulting firm HVS projected that a 750-room headquarters hotel (Omni was built at 800 rooms) would allow the MCC to generate about 445,500 room nights during its first 12 months of operation.
However, from the start of the fiscal year through March, the MCC spurred only 115,448 room nights, according to the Nashville Convention Center Authority.
March 2014 hotel data for Nashville/Davidson County
* Nashville sold 641,932 hotel room nights during the month of March, an increase of 12.4% over March 2013
* Occupancy increased 7.2% over the previous year
* Average Daily Rate (ADR) increased 16.9% over the previous year
* Revenue per Available Room (RevPar) increased 25.3% over the previous year
* Hotel Revenue increased 31.4% over the previous year
* Supply increased 4.9% over the previous year
The Convention Center Authority has announced the Music City Center in March hosted 20 events with 63,901 attendees, generating 39,353 in total room nights and about $47.8 million in economic impact.
The numbers make March the MCC’s strongest month for economic impact since it opened in May 2013, the authority said in a release.
Relatedly, the SoBro-based MCC has generated more than $125 million in economic impact to date in fiscal year 2014.
Since July 1, the convention facility has hosted 262 events with 302,803 attendees. The events generated 115,448 room nights for $125.3 million in economic impact.
Tax collections continue to outperform projections, with the MCC portion of tax collections was up 10.16 percent year over year for January, the authority said.
“March was a great month for us with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, American Trucking Association and a number of other large groups,” Charles Starks, MCC president and CEO said in release. “Our customers have been very happy with their attendance numbers and every group here during the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 has set record attendance.”
Metro officials announced today the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Music City Center with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for new construction.
MCC green features include a green roof, a rainwater harvest system and extensive LED lighting with specialized controls. The four-acre green roof, currently the largest in the Southeast, is composed of 14 different types of vegetation that slow rainwater runoff and direct it to a 360,000-gallon collection tank. Harvested rainwater is then used to flush more than 500 toilets/urinals and irrigate outdoor landscaping.
“The project and design team did an incredible job making LEED certification a top priority, and I know the Music City Center staff has continued to focus on environmental stewardship in day-to-day operations,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “We set out with an original target of LEED Silver, and I am extremely proud of the team for surpassing that goal and achieving LEED Gold certification. Green buildings like this one are key to driving our city and our economy toward a more sustainable future and to helping us reach our goal of being the greenest city in the Southeast.”
Since opening in May 2013, the Music City Center has hosted 250-plus events and more than 300,000 attendees.
The Metro Council Tuesday night approved a .25 percent fee — a quarter of a cent on the dollar — on the sale of some goods and services provided by businesses located within the central business improvement district. The district spans a 90-block area downtown. Money collected from the fee will go into a fund to recruit conventions to the Music City Center. Steven Hale and the Nashville Scene have the story here.
Remember folks, it's a "fee," not a "tax." From Steven Hale:
Though the rhetoric leading up to its completion may have given such an impression, it seems the Music City Center — the half-a-billion dollar undulating structure that spans three city blocks down Demonbreun Street and represents the largest public investment in Nashville's history — is not quite a "build it and they will come" proposition.
The Metro Council Tuesday night approved a .25 percent — a quarter of a penny on the dollar — on the sale of some goods and services within the central business improvement district, a 90-block area downtown. At-Large Councilman Ronnie Steine explained more about the fee, before the council approved it by a vote of 32-4.