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We've already talked about how good the Super Bowl was for hotels in the Big Easy, but will it be the biggest blessing of the year?
While the city used to judge the success of Mardi Gras by the amount of trash they cleaned up afterwards (seriously), they lean a little more on hotel performance these days. How does Mardi Gras stack up against the Big Game? New Orleans is still sorting through the hotel data from this year's Mardi Gras, but a look at the numbers from last year show one thing very clearly: The Super Bowl really was super.
A study that compared the peak days of each event showed that the Super Bowl drew much higher rates despite similar occupancy levels. High-end hotels had an average daily rate of $460 during the Super Bowl compared to an ADR of $265 for Mardi Gras 2012. The story was the same for "middle-class" properties -- $392/night for the Super Bowl and $273 for Mardi Gras. Those are pretty big rate gaps! It's also interesting to note that the "middle-class" hotels had a higher ADR than the high-end hotels for Mardi Gras. Guess that says something about the type of lodging visitors to Mardi Gras are seeking.
The Ravens are Super Bowl Champs, and the Beyonce-Destiny's Child reunion certainly got plenty of folks talking, but New Orleans hotels came out on top, too.
A few fast facts to brighten up your Monday: during the week of January 27th leading up to the Big Game, occupancy rose from 46.6% to 71.1%, and the average daily rate jumped 125.9% to $289.03, according to data from STR.
Meanwhile, the U.S. hotel industry as a whole benefited from the Super Bowl, with occupancy up 3.6%, and RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) increasing 9.8% to $57.06.
While it makes us sad that a city as great as New Orleans had an occupancy rate well below the national average prior to the Super Bowl, it just goes to show how important it is for cities to take advantage of major national events. Everyone wants to take a vacation, but they sometimes need a little push and motivation. Props to the hotels this year who pulled off Big Game parties and promotions (and boo to the hotel room scalpers like this guy hawking a room at the Wyndham Barrone Plaza for $3,000/night).
The next big sporting event for the hotel industry is baseball's spring training in Arizona and Florida, which starts next month. We've already mentioned one such promotion in our mancation story, and hopefully more will emerge as the date gets closer.