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What to budget for 2006.

By September and October, most hotel managers are putting the final touches on their budgets for the upcoming year. The budget is the culmination of an exhaustive amount of research, analysis, and number crunching all designed to lay the groundwork for next year's operations.

Preparation of the budget relies heavily on data from internal sources. Hotel management will analyze both historical financial and historical market performance data. In addition, the marketing plan should contain actual reservation, advance deposit, and group booking activity statistics for the upcoming coming year.

Hotel managers will also gather information from such external sources as the local Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. Finally, hoteliers will gather information from industry analysts that provide market forecasts and financial benchmarking data. The use of forecast and benchmarking data from third-party sources is sometimes difficult to incorporate into the budgeting process. After all, intuition says that the historical performance of the subject property is the best predictor of future performance.

Contrary to popular opinion, research conducted by PKF Consulting has shown that 75 percent of the performance of a typical U.S. hotel is dictated by local market conditions. In other words, you can execute the best marketing plan in the world, but if local market conditions deteriorate, then the subject hotel will suffer accordingly. Just ask the sales manager of a Silicon Valley hotel when the dot.com bubble burst. This dependence on local market conditions emphasizes the need to gain a better understanding of the future performance of the greater lodging market in which you compete.

In conjunction with Torto Wheaton Research, PKF Consulting prepares econometric forecasts of hotel supply, demand, occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR for 52 major markets across the nation. The forecast reports are entitled Hotel Outlook. To assist hotel managers in the preparation of their 2006 budgets, PKF Consulting is pleased to present a regional summary of its Fall 2005 Hotel Outlook forecasts for the U.S. lodging industry.

Occupancy Growth Decelerates

Prior to 2005, strong gains in occupancy have been the main driver of revenue growth coming out of the industry recession. However, after three consecutive years of occupancy recovery ('03 - '05), the pace of occupancy growth in 2006 is forecast to slow down to just 1.0 percent. Despite the low growth rate, the average occupancy for hotels in the nation's largest markets is projected to be 68 percent in 2006, a measure above the long-term average.

All regions of the U.S. are expected to experience gains in occupancy in 2006. Hotels in the North Central region are forecast to benefit from the greatest gains in occupancy (1.6%), while properties in the Mountain/ Pacific region should see their occupancy levels increase by a national low of 0.6 percent. The only market sector projected to experience a decline is the Mountain/ Pacific full-service hotels.

In general, limited-service hotels should see their occupancy levels grow at a greater pace than full-service properties in 2006. The Hotel Outlook forecast for limited-service hotels calls for a 1.9 percent increase in occupancy in 2006, more than double the 0.6 percent rate projected for full-service hotels. The comparative growth of occupancy for the two property types is reflective of their relative placement on the hotel business cycle. Full-service hotel performance fell off much deeper and quicker during the industry recession. However, the full-service sector has enjoyed a quicker recovery and is further along the business curve relative to limited-service hotels.

Moderate Gains For ADR

Similar to the Hotel Outlook forecast for occupancy rates, the pace of growth for hotel room rates is expected to slowdown somewhat in 2006. However, the falloff in ADR growth is not expected to be as severe as the deceleration projected for occupancy.

Room rates for major city hotels in the U.S. are forecast to increase 4.0 percent from 2005 to 2006. Unlike occupancy growth patterns, full-service hotels should enjoyed a greater gain in ADR compared to limited-service hotels.

Full-service ADRs are forecast to increase 4.2 percent in 2006 compared to 3.8 percent for limited-service properties.

Consistent with recent history, the major gateway cities along the two coasts are anticipated to achieve the greatest increases in room rates in 2006. The ADR for hotels in the New England/Middle Atlantic region are forecast to rise 4.7 percent, while the ADRs in the Mountain/Pacific region should jump 4.6 percent. Lagging in ADR growth (2.7 percent) are the properties located in the major cities of the North Central region.

Profitable RevPAR Composition

Given the preceding descriptions of decelerating occupancy and ADR, it follows that the pace of RevPAR growth will also be less than the lofty growth rates observed in 2004 and 2005. For 2006, the Hotel Outlook model is forecasting a 5.0 percent gain in RevPAR for major U.S. city hotels. Due to the relatively strong growth in occupancy, the outlook for limited-service RevPAR growth (5.7 percent) is greater than the projection for full-service properties (4.8 percent).

While the 5.0 percent growth in 2006 RevPAR is less than half the estimated growth rate for 2005, it is important to note that 80 percent of the RevPAR gain in 2006 is attributable to the rise in ADR. Historical studies performed by PKF Hospitality Research have found that most hotels are more profitable when revenue gains are driven primarily by increases in room rates.

The relatively strong growth in ADR for hotels in the Northeast enables these properties to also enjoy the greatest forecasted gain in RevPAR (6.2 percent) for 2006. On the other hand, hotels in the South Central region are projected to improve their RevPAR by only 3.8 percent.

How Accurate Are Hotel Budgets?

One of the best ways to avoid mistakes is to learn from the past. Therefore, we thought we'd take a look back at the historical budgeting accuracy of U.S. hotel operators. From PKF Consulting's Trends in the Hotel Industry database of 5,000 hotel financial statements for 2004, we identified approximately 1,000 statements that contained 2004 budget data. Based on these statements, we compared the revenues and expenses budgeted for 2004 with what was actually earned and spent.

Topping The Top-Line

Looking towards 2004, hotel managers were hoping for moderate gains in both occupancy and ADR. The average 2004 budget called for a 4.3 percent increase in occupied rooms, combined with a 3.7 percent gain in ADR. The net result was a fairly aggressive forecast of 8.1 percent growth in rooms revenue.

Fortunately for the hotels in the study sample, rooms revenue actually rose 8.9 percent for the year, or nearly 10 percent more than the budgeted dollar amount. The primary driver of this surplus rooms revenue growth was the return of business travelers and conventioneers. The number of rooms occupied in the sample hotels actually increased 5.1 percent, a pace that beat the budget. While the actual growth in ADR was slightly less than the budgeted amount, it was within 0.1 percentage points--a very accurate forecast.

Short On The Bottom-Line

According to their 2004 budgets, U.S. hotel managers hoped to turn their 7.8 percent gain in total revenue into a 17.1 increase in hotel profits. For the purpose of this analysis, profits are defined as income before deductions for capital reserves, rent, interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

At year's end, 2004 hotel profits had grown 14.9 percent over 2003. While 14.9 percent growth in a high figure historically, it did fall 12.9 percent short of the budgeted dollars for the year.

The primary reason for the budgeted profit shortfall appears to be excessive spending. Hotel management had allotted for a 4.9 percent increase in operating expenses for 2004. When all was said and done, they had spent 5.7 percent more to operate their hotels. This over expenditure in 2004 is consistent with a separate analysis conducted by PKF Consulting that found hotel operating expenses to spike in the first few years coming out of a recession.

Looking Good For 2006

As the saying goes, "Everyone looks smarter when they are making money." Our analysis found the 2004 hotel budgets prepared back in 2003 to be much more accurate than the budgets prepared for the previous three years.

Obviously, no one could have foreseen the catastrophic events of 2001. However, U.S. hotel managers were decidedly inaccurate projecting the losses that occurred in 2002 and 2003. Maybe this was just a result of another business idiom--"Never budget for a loss."

Looking forward to 2006, most industry analysts are optimistic and projecting continued increases in both revenues and profits. Given recent history, this does portend for more accurate budgets. It will be interesting to see how aggressive hotel managers are when budgeting their revenue, expense, and profit growth rates for 2006.
MAJOR U.S. HOTEL MARKETS

Annual Results - 2004 2006 Forecast
Regional Performance

 Occupancy

 2005 2006
 2004 Forecast Forecast

New England and Middle Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels 69.4% 71.2% 72.2%
 Full-Service 71.0% 72.7% 73.3%
 Limited-Service 63.9% 66.3% 68.4%

North Central Cities
 All Hotels 60.1% 61.7% 62.7%
 Full-Service 62.4% 64.0% 64.7%
 Limited-Service 57.5% 59.1% 60.6%

South Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels 66.9% 69.0% 69.7%
 Full-Service 68.1% 70.0% 70.6%
 Limited-Service 64.8% 67.2% 68.3%

South Central Cities
 All Hotels 59.4% 61.7% 62.2%
 Full-Service 61.1% 63.4% 63.8%
 Limited-Service 57.8% 60.0% 60.6%

Mountain and Pacific Cities
 All Hotels 67.9% 70.3% 70.7%
 Full-Service 69.4% 71.7% 71.6%
 Limited-Service 65.1% 67.6% 69.0%

All Cities
 All Hotels 65.2% 67.3% 68.0%
 Full-Service 67.1% 69.1% 69.5%
 Limited-Service 61.9% 64.1% 65.3%

 Average Daily Rate

 2004 2005 Forecast

New England and Middle Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels $ 135.73 $ 145.91
 Full-Service $ 151.11 $ 163.17
 Limited-Service $ 78.23 $ 81.58

North Central Cities
 All Hotels $ 86.94 $ 91.52
 Full-Service $ 104.65 $ 110.47
 Limited-Service $ 60.4 $ 63.17

South Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels $ 93.7 $ 102.14
 Full-Service $ 115.52 $ 125.94
 Limited-Service $ 57.21 $ 62.8

South Central Cities
 All Hotels $ 77.38 $ 81.21
 Full-Service $ 100.79 $ 105.94
 Limited-Service $ 52.72 $ 55.25

Mountain and Pacific Cities
 All Hotels $ 102.28 $ 109.28
 Full-Service $ 120.53 $ 128.76
 Limited-Service $ 64.78 $ 69.28

All Cities
 All Hotels $ 98.74 $ 105.78
 Full-Service $ 119.91 $ 128.71
 Limited-Service $ 60.66 $ 64.68

 Average Daily
 Rate

 2006 Forecast

New England and Middle Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels $ 152.75
 Full-Service $ 171.44
 Limited-Service $ 84.47

North Central Cities
 All Hotels $ 93.97
 Full-Service $ 114.10
 Limited-Service $ 64.34

South Atlantic Cities
 All Hotels $ 106.06
 Full-Service $ 130.35
 Limited-Service $ 66.05

South Central Cities
 All Hotels $ 83.64
 Full-Service $ 109.12
 Limited-Service $ 56.91

Mountain and Pacific Cities
 All Hotels $ 114.32
 Full-Service $ 135.10
 Limited-Service $ 72.20

All Cities
 All Hotels $ 109.97
 Full-Service $ 134.09
 Limited-Service $ 67.14

HOTEL REAL ESTATE SALES--TRANSACTION ACTIVITY

 First Half 2005

 Number of Median # of
 Transactions Rooms Median Age

All Hotels 339 106 22

Region
 New England/Mid-Atlantic 27 173 30
 North Central 31 100 16
 South Atlantic 124 118 23
 South Central 18 131 18
 Mountain/Pacific 139 81 21

Property Type
 Full-Service 131 177 27
 Limited-Service 162 66 20
 Extended Stay 29 93 8
 All-Suite 17 128 8

Affiliation
 Yes 247 122 20
 No 92 56 41

Size of Property
 Over 226 Rooms 50 316 25
 151 to 225 Rooms 52 180 29
 76 to 150 Rooms 127 108 18
 0 to 75 Rooms 110 50 30

 First Half
 2005

 Median Sale
 Price Per
 Room

All Hotels $ 50,000

Region
 New England/Mid-Atlantic $ 77,209
 North Central $ 44,262
 South Atlantic $ 42,730
 South Central $ 31,288
 Mountain/Pacific $ 55,882

Property Type
 Full-Service $ 63,761
 Limited-Service $ 37,903
 Extended Stay $ 60,403
 All-Suite $ 54,688

Affiliation
 Yes $ 49,138
 No $ 52,191

Size of Property
 Over 226 Rooms $ 92,359
 151 to 225 Rooms $ 41,664
 76 to 150 Rooms $ 45,000
 0 to 75 Rooms $ 50,174

Note: * Readers are advised that the transactions that occur
during a particular month may not be publicly recorded for several
months in the future. Therefore, the number of transactions
identified are only those known as of the Quarterly Trends
publication date.

** The data presented is intended to profile the transactions
that have occurred. It is not intended to be a measure of changes
in hotel values.

Sources: PKF Hospitality Research, CoStar, Hotel Brokers
Association and Industry Media.

FIRST HALF 2005 vs FIRST HALF 2004

 First Half 2004

 Median Sale
 Number of Median # of Price Per
Transactions Rooms Median Age Room

 454 112 22 $ 36,292

 32 131 30 $ 72,585
 77 120 18 $ 25,157
 136 120 22 $ 37,003
 62 111 21 $ 23,706
 147 92 29 $ 50,000

 157 196 30 $ 52,365
 262 76 21 $ 30,551
 21 112 8 $ 36,250
 14 134 8 $ 72,951

 333 121 20 $ 33,333
 121 60 39 $ 44,215

 76 323 27 $ 55,142
 56 181 31 $ 36,325
 177 115 19 $ 28,302
 145 48 28 $ 38,889

TRENDS IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

United States Cities--First Half for 2005

 Occupancy

NEW ENGLAND AND MIDDLE ATLANTIC 2005 2004 Variance
 Albany 61.5% 61.9% -0.7%
 Boston 62.1% 61.2% 1.5%
 Edison 60.7% 56.1% 8.1%
 Hartford 61.9% 61.4% 0.9%
 Long Island 65.0% 64.1% 1.3%
 Newark 66.5% 66.2% 0.5%
 New York 81.1% 77.5% 4.7%
 Philadelphia 71.2% 67.1% 6.1%
 Pittsburgh 57.3% 57.6% -0.6%
 Trenton 61.0% 60.1% 1.5%
 Subtotal 69.0% 66.8% 3.3%

NORTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Chicago 61.7% 59.6% 3.5%
 Cincinnati 54.9% 53.1% 3.4%
 Cleveland 54.8% 54.2% 1.1%
 Columbus 61.2% 58.2% 5.3%
 Dayton 56.2% 54.7% 2.8%
 Detroit 56.7% 55.4% 2.4%
 Indianapolis 58.8% 57.9% 1.6%
 Kansas City 57.8% 56.1% 3.0%
 Minneapolis 63.8% 61.4% 3.8%
 Omaha 62.4% 61.1% 2.1%
 St. Louis 59.4% 57.8% 2.8%
 Subtotal 59.6% 57.9% 2.9%

SOUTH ATLANTIC CITIES
 Atlanta 63.1% 60.7% 3.9%
 Baltimore 68.7% 68.1% 0.8%
 Charlotte 59.3% 55.6% 6.7%
 Columbia, SC 67.4% 64.8% 4.0%
 Fort Lauderdale 78.9% 77.2% 2.2%
 Miami 77.8% 73.0% 6.6%
 Orlando 75.2% 71.1% 5.8%
 Raleigh 63.5% 63.2% 0.5%
 Richmond 61.6% 61.0% 0.9%
 Tampa 74.1% 69.9% 6.0%
 Washington, DC 73.7% 72.7% 1.4%
 West Palm Beach 80.0% 76.7% 4.3%
 Subtotal 70.9% 68.3% 3.8%

SOUTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Austin 68.3% 59.9% 14.0%
 Dallas 59.8% 57.8% 3.5%
 Fort Worth 63.6% 61.4% 3.6%
 Houston 62.5% 60.0% 4.1%
 Memphis 62.2% 60.0% 3.8%
 Nashville 63.4% 61.2% 3.6%
 New Orleans 73.5% 71.2% 3.3%
 San Antonio 69.8% 65.8% 6.0%
 Subtotal 63.9% 61.0% 4.8%

MOUNTAIN AND PACIFIC CITIES
 Albuquerque 62.8% 60.3% 4.2%
 Denver 60.9% 58.0% 5.1%
 Honolulu 84.0% 77.7% 8.1%
 Los Angeles 75.2% 72.7% 3.4%
 Oakland 60.2% 57.0% 5.7%
 Orange County 73.2% 69.6% 5.2%
 Phoenix 73.5% 70.0% 4.9%
 Portland 59.8% 56.4% 6.1%
 San Diego 72.8% 71.8% 1.5%
 Seattle 65.5% 62.0% 5.6%
 San Francisco 68.0% 66.0% 3.0%
 Tucson 72.1% 68.9% 4.7%
 Subtotal 71.5% 68.6% 4.2%

TOTAL CITIES 67.6% 65.0% 4.0%

 ADR

NEW ENGLAND AND MIDDLE ATLANTIC 2005 2004 Variance

 Albany $ 91.68 $ 88.71 3.3%
 Boston $ 126.99 $ 119.94 5.9%
 Edison $ 113.12 $ 110.90 2.0%
 Hartford $ 87.54 $ 85.03 3.0%
 Long Island $ 125.45 $ 125.46 0.0%
 Newark $ 113.85 $ 111.02 2.5%
 New York $ 204.75 $ 181.32 12.9%
 Philadelphia $ 104.58 $ 97.64 7.1%
 Pittsburgh $ 80.97 $ 78.61 3.0%
 Trenton $ 130.10 $ 122.69 6.0%
 Subtotal $ 141.26 $ 130.05 8.6%

NORTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Chicago $ 107.23 $ 101.35 5.8%
 Cincinnati $ 91.49 $ 87.65 4.4%
 Cleveland $ 78.03 $ 74.72 4.4%
 Columbus $ 96.07 $ 90.92 5.7%
 Dayton $ 65.31 $ 62.33 4.8%
 Detroit $ 83.04 $ 79.69 4.2%
 Indianapolis $ 84.09 $ 79.86 5.3%
 Kansas City $ 78.41 $ 74.23 5.6%
 Minneapolis $ 86.37 $ 81.89 5.5%
 Omaha $ 75.85 $ 71.74 5.7%
 St. Louis $ 79.95 $ 75.55 5.8%
 Subtotal $ 90.03 $ 85.36 5.5%

SOUTH ATLANTIC CITIES
 Atlanta $ 80.59 $ 76.50 5.4%
 Baltimore $ 106.63 $ 102.91 3.6%
 Charlotte $ 68.42 $ 65.03 5.2%
 Columbia, SC $ 79.46 $ 76.12 4.4%
 Fort Lauderdale $ 113.89 $ 100.07 13.8%
 Miami $ 145.71 $ 130.06 12.0%
 Orlando $ 99.13 $ 89.90 10.3%
 Raleigh $ 75.66 $ 71.31 6.1%
 Richmond $ 72.33 $ 69.32 4.3%
 Tampa $ 95.80 $ 86.81 10.4%
 Washington, DC $ 134.79 $ 120.82 11.6%
 West Palm Beach $ 201.78 $ 185.49 8.8%
 Subtotal $ 106.80 $ 97.44 9.6%

SOUTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Austin $ 83.69 $ 78.84 6.2%
 Dallas $ 80.85 $ 77.37 4.5%
 Fort Worth $ 78.85 $ 71.41 10.4%
 Houston $ 78.49 $ 79.91 -1.8%
 Memphis $ 72.52 $ 69.80 3.9%
 Nashville $ 81.63 $ 78.13 4.5%
 New Orleans $ 137.15 $ 138.72 -1.1%
 San Antonio $ 93.52 $ 87.69 6.6%
 Subtotal $ 86.47 $ 83.47 3.6%

MOUNTAIN AND PACIFIC CITIES
 Albuquerque $ 64.25 $ 61.40 4.6%
 Denver $ 81.31 $ 75.05 8.3%
 Honolulu $ 141.25 $ 129.46 9.1%
 Los Angeles $ 107.69 $ 99.54 8.2%
 Oakland $ 105.12 $ 101.68 3.4%
 Orange County $ 104.04 $ 98.02 6.1%
 Phoenix $ 115.72 $ 108.60 6.6%
 Portland $ 79.64 $ 75.08 6.1%
 San Diego $ 125.30 $ 114.70 9.2%
 Seattle $ 99.33 $ 95.75 3.7%
 San Francisco $ 126.05 $ 121.85 3.4%
 Tucson $ 118.42 $ 105.07 12.7%
 Subtotal $ 111.83 $ 104.67 6.8%

TOTAL CITIES $ 106.72 $ 99.46 7.3%

 RevPAR

NEW ENGLAND AND MIDDLE ATLANTIC 2005 2004 Variance

 Albany $ 56.35 $ 54.89 2.7%
 Boston $ 78.88 $ 73.38 7.5%
 Edison $ 68.63 $ 62.24 10.3%
 Hartford $ 54.22 $ 52.17 3.9%
 Long Island $ 81.53 $ 80.47 1.3%
 Newark $ 75.75 $ 73.49 3.1%
 New York $ 166.06 $ 140.45 18.2%
 Philadelphia $ 74.46 $ 65.54 13.6%
 Pittsburgh $ 46.39 $ 45.29 2.4%
 Trenton $ 79.33 $ 73.72 7.6%
 Subtotal $ 97.47 $ 86.87 12.2%

NORTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Chicago $ 66.16 $ 60.39 9.5%
 Cincinnati $ 50.20 $ 46.51 7.9%
 Cleveland $ 42.76 $ 40.49 5.6%
 Columbus $ 58.84 $ 52.89 11.2%
 Dayton $ 36.69 $ 34.08 7.7%
 Detroit $ 47.10 $ 44.12 6.8%
 Indianapolis $ 49.49 $ 46.28 6.9%
 Kansas City $ 45.32 $ 41.66 8.8%
 Minneapolis $ 55.08 $ 50.29 9.5%
 Omaha $ 47.37 $ 43.86 8.0%
 St. Louis $ 47.49 $ 43.64 8.8%
 Subtotal $ 53.66 $ 49.42 8.6%

SOUTH ATLANTIC CITIES
 Atlanta $ 50.82 $ 46.43 9.4%
 Baltimore $ 73.23 $ 70.08 4.5%
 Charlotte $ 40.60 $ 36.18 12.2%
 Columbia, SC $ 53.55 $ 49.33 8.6%
 Fort Lauderdale $ 89.82 $ 77.25 16.3%
 Miami $ 113.34 $ 94.88 19.5%
 Orlando $ 74.51 $ 63.88 16.6%
 Raleigh $ 48.05 $ 45.06 6.6%
 Richmond $ 44.53 $ 42.30 5.3%
 Tampa $ 71.01 $ 60.69 17.0%
 Washington, DC $ 99.37 $ 87.88 13.1%
 West Palm Beach $ 161.36 $ 142.29 13.4%
 Subtotal $ 75.72 $ 66.55 13.8%

SOUTH CENTRAL CITIES
 Austin $ 57.12 $ 47.21 21.0%
 Dallas $ 48.38 $ 44.75 8.1%
 Fort Worth $ 50.14 $ 43.83 14.4%
 Houston $ 49.02 $ 47.93 2.3%
 Memphis $ 45.14 $ 41.85 7.9%
 Nashville $ 51.77 $ 47.85 8.2%
 New Orleans $ 100.88 $ 98.74 2.2%
 San Antonio $ 65.24 $ 57.70 13.1%
 Subtotal $ 55.25 $ 50.92 8.5%

MOUNTAIN AND PACIFIC CITIES
 Albuquerque $ 40.36 $ 37.01 9.1%
 Denver $ 49.53 $ 43.51 13.8%
 Honolulu $ 118.67 $ 100.59 18.0%
 Los Angeles $ 80.93 $ 72.34 11.9%
 Oakland $ 63.31 $ 57.93 9.3%
 Orange County $ 76.18 $ 68.21 11.7%
 Phoenix $ 85.05 $ 76.05 11.8%
 Portland $ 47.62 $ 42.33 12.5%
 San Diego $ 91.25 $ 82.30 10.9%
 Seattle $ 65.04 $ 59.39 9.5%
 San Francisco $ 85.70 $ 80.40 6.6%
 Tucson $ 85.38 $ 72.37 18.0%
 Subtotal $ 79.96 $ 71.80 11.4%

TOTAL CITIES $ 72.10 $ 64.64 11.5%

Sources: Smith Travel Research, Torto Wheaton Research,
PKF Hospitality Research
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Publication:Quarterly Trends in the Hotel Industry (USA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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