Despite the price of fuel going up, the
cost of running a hotel has stayed about the same, according to a
report by PKF Hospitality Research, an affiliate of Atlanta-based
Hotel owners and
operators had expected utility costs to spike as they did during
the oil shortage in the 1970s. But R. Mark Woodworth, executive
director of PKF Hospitality Research, said the situation is
different this time.
During that period,
he said, energy costs grew an average of 11% annually. By
comparison, energy costs for hotels have only risen 6% in 2004 and
5.9% in 2003. Furthermore, hotel energy costs have been mitigated
by strong hotel bookings.
The report noted
that the near-term outlook for hotel revenue growth is
growth will mask the increase in operating expenses absorbed by
hotels, Woodworth said.
Research estimates that, on average, the utility costs per hotel
room are $1,691 per year.
Utility costs for
hotels rose more in the South Atlantic region, up 9.2% from 2003 to
2004. Costs were up 7.3% in the South Central states.
utility costs rose 5% in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, and 2%
in the North Central region.
your air conditioner year-round was more costly than heating needed
to keep the northern hotels warm during the winter, Woodworth
Overall, the report
indicated that hotels might have to get use to higher utility
costs. Assuming higher-than-usual fuel costs will remain a
constant, the report projects utility expenses will continue to
rise at roughly the long-term average of 6%.
With strong labor
requirements and relatively fixed expenses like utilities, the
lodging industry history has seen its costs of operations increase
at a much greater pace than other industries, Woodworth said. You
cannot automate most front-of-the-house functions, and you can only
control your energy consumption to a certain degree.
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