It seems that there has been a rapid increase in the amount of hotel construction happening in the Middle Tennessee region. Approximately 1,400 rooms are already being built with an addition 2,100 in the early planning stages. Combined, they could increase the Middle Tennessee region’s supply of hotel rooms by 10 percent despite our slowing economy.
Last year, only a weak 85 rooms were under construction locally as compared to this year’s potential 3,000+. According to the Tennesseean, the significant increase doesn’t surprise industry observers, who say Middle Tennessee has been a top destination for hotel developers because of its market dynamics, improved travel demand and greater availability of capital. Paul Breslin, managing partner of Panther Hospitality shared, “You’ve got an unusual but good combination of leisure, business, and travel… It’s a strong market.” Another analyst cautions against reading too much into the numbers, saying they’re heavily skewed by the Music City Center convention Omni hotel, Nashville’s biggest hotel project. According to Breslin, hotel developers “look for good demand generators, underserved areas and strong trends for such things as occupancy and room rates in evaluating potential markets…That’s why many of the area’s new hotels are near downtown, near Vanderbilt University, by the airport or close to other travel generators.”
Lucky for us, our region draws significant numbers of travelers to the Grand Ole Opry, Tennessee Titans and Predators games, and Civil War sites. Nashville is also home to a number of universities such as Vanderbilt, Belmont, and Tennessee State University. Hopefully these plentiful hotel construction plans will become a long term trend, fueling more tourism and money into Nashville’s economy (source) (Omni hotel) (picture 1) (picture 2).