Among the new hospitality names checking in to Washington this year: The Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.; the Pod D.C., and the MGM National Harbor.
They are among 14 new hotels scheduled to open in the region in 2016, adding more than 2,200 rooms to the local lineup. An additional 16 hotels are slated to open next year, up from 11 openings in 2015, according to data from Lodging Econometrics, a research firm based in Portsmouth, N.H.
The flurry in hotel openings comes seven years after the country suffered the worst recession in decades. The economic downturn, followed by a slowdown in government spending and tighter policies on employee travel, put the brakes on a number of large-scale hotel projects. Many were scrapped altogether.
Now, a number of hotel companies — including Hilton Worldwide, Kimpton Hotels and Marriott International are racing to build new properties, from a hotel full of tiny rooms at the Pod D.C. in Chinatown to luxurious, 6,300-square-foot suites at the Trump International.
“Development is near record levels,” said Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive of Choice Hotels in Rockville, which plans to open 375 more hotels in the United States this year. “The economy’s positive, employment is good, financing is available — it’s just a very positive time in the lodging cycle.”
In all, the Washington area has 688 hotels with 110,240 rooms. An additional 85 hotels, accounting for more than 14,000 rooms, are in the works, according to Lodging Econometrics.
Among the brands aggressively expanding in the region are McLean-based Hilton, which plans to open 22 properties in the region by 2018, including the luxury Conrad by Hilton at CityCenter DC. Most of its planned hotels, however, are limited-service, lower-priced brands, such as Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
“We’re going through a building boom, if you will,” said Bill Fortier, senior vice president of development Hilton Worldwide. “As long as the U.S. economy continues to sputter along as it is, even if it’s just 1 or 2 percent growth, that’s enough to keep us adding new supply in certain markets.”