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New Hotels Boost Room Availability, But Occupancy Drags
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New hotels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have increased the number of available hotel rooms, but the demand hasn’t yet kept up. MPB’s Evelina Burnett explains.

The Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi added 373 rooms to the coast’s hotel offerings last month. The Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville, which opened in December, added another 300. Those are among the reasons why the number of available rooms grew more than 6 percent on the coast during the first half of the year.

Linda Hornsby, executive director of the Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association, says hotel occupancy during that time fell a tad, 0.8%. 

"What that tells us is that we have increased the room inventory a significant amount; however, the demand is not increasing exponentially," she says. “That causes occupancy to be spread over a larger number of hotels, it results in room revenue increase because you’re selling more rooms, but you’re not selling the larger percentage of rooms to the same degree as the inventory increased." 

Hornsby notes that several key metrics, such as the average daily rate and the revenue per available room, are up during the first six months of the year.   


Hotel Occupancy on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
 June 2016June 2015% ChangeYTD 2016YTD 2015YTD % Change
Hotel Occupancy67%70%- 4.8%57.8%58.3%- 0.8%
Average Daily Rate (ADR)  + 1.1%  + 2.1%
Revenue per available room   - 3.8%  + 1.3%
Room revenue  + 1.3%  + 7.6%
Room availability  + 5.2%  + 6.2%








Source: MS Hotel & Lodging Association

Number of available rooms, June 2016: 15,227
Number of available rooms, pre-Katrina: 17,544
Current percentage of pre-Katrina inventory: 86.8%