Consulting firm utilized thorough data analysis, interviews, to determine demand
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2019) – Rising hotel demand in Palm Beach Gardens, coupled with a lack of available inventory, could potentially make way for more hotel rooms. The findings come from a recent study conducted by global consulting firm, Hospitality Valuation Services (HVS), at the request of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County.
In the “Hotel Room Supply and Demand” study released in late June 2019, HVS indicated a need for nearly 600 additional hotel rooms to be added to the market over the next several years. Palm Beach Gardens’ current hotel inventory comprises nine hotels with a total of 1,625 rooms. The additional hotel rooms would represent an increase of 35%.
A room-night analysis concluded that Palm Beach Gardens’ next hotel, the 122-room Residence Inn, will absorb a portion of the city’s present demand after it opens in the first quarter of 2020; however, demand is expected to continue to increase. It also showed little impact to market-wide occupancy rates with the entrance of the additional rooms.
Driving the demand are several development initiatives, HVS reported. Businesses are booming in Palm Beach Gardens, as evidenced by projects such as Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) new facility slated to be built near the intersection of Interstate 95 and PGA Boulevard. FPL, headquartered in Juno Beach, is a leading Florida employer.
Additionally, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) pledged to create a total of 510 new jobs through 2021 when negotiating for its new Center for Intelligence in Palm Beach Gardens, which opened in 2018. The project recently became the first in Florida to win Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. HVS’ room-night analysis included demand from visitation to the new center.
The study also cited Palm Beach Gardens’ proposed Tri-Rail station, for which the city was awarded a $120,000 grant by the Federal Transit Administration in 2017. If approved, the South Florida public transit station would be positioned near the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, at PGA Boulevard and Alternate A1A, and is expected to generate further significant room night demand.
HVS’ findings are a product of both county-wide and Palm Beach Gardens-specific data, as well as interviews with various market participants. Among the participants interviewed were local experts Charlotte Presensky, leisure services administrator at the city of Palm Beach Gardens; Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches; Don Kolodz, senior vice president of Destination Development at Discover The Palm Beaches; and George Linley, executive director of Palm Beach County’s Sports Commission.
Based on its interviews, HVS also found that with more hotel rooms comes another need: a conference center. The study indicated that major companies in North County (northern Palm Beach County) could benefit from meeting space with a capacity to host more than 500 people. Such facilities are not readily available in the area.
“Palm Beach Gardens is poised for growth. The city is looking at its center, along the PGA Corridor and Alternate A1A, where a proposed train station may come. This may be a future hub for both residential and business opportunities,” said Mark Marciano, mayor of Palm Beach Gardens. “There’s a big need for hotels and convention space, and it’s an exciting time to start planning. We must keep in mind our current and future residents and the challenges of traffic. The city has developed a mobility plan to incorporate future technologies as we prepare our city’s infrastructure and mobility upgrades to meet these challenges.”
Added Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches: “We are very encouraged by this validation of the increasing demand for accommodations in different parts of the county. Palm Beach County’s decade-long visitation growth of 95% has resulted in the largest surge in hotel supply in history, putting thousands of people in hospitality jobs with excellent career growth opportunities while improving the quality of life for our community.”
Outside its corporate footprint, Palm Beach Gardens contributes to the overall county’s growing visitation – which hit a record-high in 2018 – with its dedication to both professional and youth sports. The city hosts the Professional Golf Association’s annual Honda Classic event at the PGA Resort & Spa. It’s estimated that 30% of the events’ more than 200,000 visitors stay outside Palm Beach Gardens due to a lack of available hotel rooms. A number of PGA Tour golfers — including Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler — also reside in North County, further adding to the area’s appeal.
The county’s overall desirability as a meetings, convention, cultural and sports events destination has continued to grow significantly in recent years. DTPB saw a 98% increase in hotel room nights booked for meetings and conventions from 2014 through 2018. Demand for rooms based on these activities has been driven by an increasingly targeted, systematic and effective approach and dedicated marketing initiatives by TDC-funded agencies such as Discover The Palm Beaches, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches,” which spans more than 2,300 square miles and 47 miles of pristine, golden beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $4.8 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record-breaking 8.02 million people in 2018. The Palm Beaches are home to more than 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations.
Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are also home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with more than 200 daily direct flights to 27 domestic and international destinations in the United States and Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located next to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports, each one only an hour away. In addition, with the Virgin Trains USA (formerly known as Brightline), transportation into The Palm Beaches from Fort Lauderdale and Miami is even faster and more convenient – with an additional connection to Orlando coming soon.
For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com and connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag #ThePalmBeaches. Tune-in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and experiences.
Manager, Public Relations
Discover The Palm Beaches
Office: 561-233-3064; Cell: 609-752-9622