Thursday April 04, 2013 | 11:58 AM
Posted by Chris Hall

Yesterday we had 450 people packed into the Holiday Inn by the Bay to hear a presentation on three new hotel developments in Portland - the new Hyatt Place Hotel on Fore Street, the Press Hotel on Congress Street and the Courtyard by Marriott on Commercial Street. 

The crowd was huge - the news was even bigger.

Out on the street the first thing you hear from folks is:  3 new hotels??!! Can we do that?  Is there enough business for them all?

We found out yesterday that the answer is a resounding yes.  Here are some facts and figures drawn from Jim Brady's presentation yesterday moring:

  • In the last 10 years the number of hotel rooms in our region has doubled to 4000;
  • The return on investment for those rooms is high, and expanding, meaning they are occupied and yeilding good rates;
  • In the last 5 years we've had 2 new hotels add 300+ rooms and the market has absorbed their additional capacity without reducing the return for other hotels anywhere in the region; and
  • Moody's found that 2012 was our region's best year for hotels, and they forecast additional growth in the years ahead.

We heard from all three developers that their projects have had independent market analyses show there's room in Portland for all three projects to thrive, even when also factoring in the upgrade of the Eastland.

So the bottom line is this - our region's hospitality industry is strong and ready for new growth.  That's great news, not just for hospitality businesses, but also for every business that attracts tourism dollars.

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Chris Hall is the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber. He’s been working in Chambers of Commerce in Maine for over 20 years, and Notes from the Chamber will bring you his perspective and comment on what’s happening in the Portland region that’s most important to our economy today and tomorrow.

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