June 5, 2023


Just Do Travel

Virginia Beach resort-area hotels prove good bet for investors

Motels throughout the place have suffered important monetary losses more than the previous two yrs. This has not been the case for Virginia Seashore vacation resort location motels, and the market’s solid efficiency should arrive as no surprise.

My associates at Grand Bay Advisors and I broker transactions with hotel models all through the United States — Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental Inns Group and Choice Hotels, to name a couple of. Even though a great deal of our enterprise is performed outside Hampton Roads, it is gratifying for our Norfolk-centered organization to operate with inns right here domestically as nicely.

More than the earlier couple of years, our advisory team has shut on Virginia Beach front Oceanfront hotel discounts that represent much more than $60 million in sales for our shoppers. Even with the economic obstacle that countrywide lodge markets have faced above the earlier ten years (such as during the pandemic), the vacation resort location has held its possess — and then some.

Because staying recruited to Hampton Roadways from Washington, D.C., in 1999 to open up and run the first Marriott-branded lodge at the Oceanfront, I acknowledged that the marketplace was underserved and underpriced. The first budget I presented for the lodge was $1 million in profits earlier mentioned what the entrepreneurs were projecting. The resort hit my figures for the duration of the initial full 12 months.

That is when I knew: Virginia Beach’s vacation resort lodge functionality was a well-saved magic formula.

Most people today could be unaware that just after 9/11, when practically just about every hotel industry in the state contracted, two markets grew year above year. A single was Philadelphia, which grew at about 4%. The other was the Virginia Beach resort, which grew at about 11%.

The future wonderful challenge for the hotel marketplace arrived during the Excellent Economic downturn, when approximately each hotel industry in the U.S. contracted. The Virginia Seaside vacation resort place ongoing to develop 4-6% every 12 months from 2008 to 2011. It was not until eventually 2012 that advancement eventually slowed, to around 2-3%, because of to sequestration. However, the resort sector never skilled a contraction for the duration of this period of time, while most other U.S. resort markets did.

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In current memory, not right until COVID struck did the Virginia Seashore resort working experience a contraction or 12 months-over-year reduction. Even then, the downturn was much more brief-lived and a lot less dramatic than most of the rest of the place.

Throughout the pandemic’s early times, most U.S. hotel marketplaces professional occupancy declines of 50% or much more. Just 90 days right after the March 2020 U.S. lockdown, Virginia Seashore area motels were building 70-80% pre-pandemic occupancies. Only 15 months immediately after the initial lockdown, Virginia Beach’s top quality-branded motels currently were being exceeding pre-pandemic occupancy stages. In the course of the 12 months commencing in May perhaps 2021, premium-branded Virginia Seashore place hotels exceeded pre-pandemic occupancies in 6 or a lot more months. On the other hand, occupancy advancement was not the sole contributor to Virginia Beach’s remarkable general performance in the course of the pandemic. Normal day-to-day price (ADR) was up in 2021 above 2019 for many of Virginia Beach’s resort-space resorts.

Smith Travel Exploration, which publishes lodge info for U.S. and international marketplaces, ranked the Norfolk/Virginia Seaside lodge market place as No. 1 in conditions of restoration throughout considerably of the initially year of the pandemic. Though Norfolk motels are bundled in the overall performance data, the markets differ significantly with the Oceanfront vacation resort driving a lot of that beneficial knowledge.

To additional solidify the resort area’s popularity, a number of Oceanfront hotels are closing in on the $200 Earnings for every out there area (RevPAR) mark. The hospitality industry uses this metric to assess a property’s skill to fill its offered rooms at various charges. A roughly $200 RevPAR is found mainly in gateway marketplaces, like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and D.C.

We feel it will be only a matter of time — probably this yr or following — when Virginia Beach’s resort region satisfies that benchmark. As significant blended-use projects are created at the resort’s North Conclude near Neptune Park and to the south at Rudy Loop, a $200 RevPAR could turn out to be the common for the nicest Oceanfront resorts, these types of as the new Marriott Resort Virginia Seashore Oceanfront property and the new Embassy Suites Lodge scheduled to open inside of the following calendar year.

However some may possibly be astonished to understand that Virginia Beach vacation resort hotels outperform most non-gateway markets all around the U.S., my associates and I are not amazed. With uncomplicated entry to people from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, merged with a sturdy company base and federal government and governing administration contracting presence, the Oceanfront features an excellent blend of organization and leisure that offers the current market advantages normally uncovered only in gateway markets.

Matthew Winston is the co-founder of Grand Bay Advisors, a national complete-support hospitality asset administration, brokerage and consulting firm in Norfolk.