San Francisco hotel market in state of depression: report

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A new report out is saying the San Francisco hotel market is in a depression — with hotel rates dropping more sharply than the rest of the country.

Jon Handlery’s family has been in the hotel business for generations.

He has seen a steep drop in the number of guests checking with the pandemic and the amount of money he can charge per night.

Back in 2019, the average room at the Handlery Union Square, Hotel Hillary was $255 a night. Now it’s $135 a night and the occupancy rate has also dropped a dramatic 60%.

“I don’t think I’m the only one who’s in that same situation,” Handlery said.

A new report out from the American Hotel and Lodging Association says the San Francisco hotel market is in a state of depression with it’s revenue per available room down 70% from May of 2019 to May of this year. Whereas the U.S. hotel market overall is considered in a recession — being down 22%.

As to what’s driving the city’s deeper decline…

“We’re very convention and meeting oriented city and all because all the conventions and meetings have been canceled for all of 21, that takes a huge leg off the stool if you want to call that. The other major market is the international visitor they’re not coming to the states little in California so now you’ve lost two legs on the three legged stool.”

The domestic traveller looking to get away is that last leg they are relying on, but Handlery says even that business being hurt by viral videos like this one depicting crime out on control in San Francisco.

“We all see what’s happening on the streets whether it’s Neiman Marcus, whether it’s Walgreen’s closing 17 stores, Target reducing the amount of hours and just the overall see you on the street no it’s all good.”

He’s expecting more people checking in as conventions come back and international travelers return, but he doesn’t expect to see business bouncing back until somewhere around 2023. 

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