As reported in Lodging, May 3, 2021, according to Lodging Econometrics’ (LE’s) Construction Pipeline Trend Report for the United States, the total U.S. construction pipeline stands at 4,967 projects totaling 622,218 rooms at the end of Q1 2021. While this is a slight dip in the pipeline year-over-year (YOY), it's not unexpected given the lockdown and travel restrictions over the past year. Further, the pipeline shows no signs of great decline compared to what occurred during the 2008 to 2009 recession. Actually, projects and rooms in the early planning stage are up significantly YOY.
Although hotel development may still be tepid in Q2, continued government support and the extension of programs have aided many businesses to get back on their feet as more and more are working to re-staff and re-open.
To date, nearly half of the eligible U.S. population is at least partially vaccinated, leading to an ease in requirements regarding group gatherings and indoor activities. Clinical trials of vaccines for children (ages 12 to 15) have been highly effective and look very promising for another strong vaccine wave. Additionally, the CDC has announced that, so long as people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, fully vaccinated people are now safe to travel domestically. U.S. travelers are becoming more optimistic about summer travel and are making plans now. As a result, operating performance is expected to soar late this spring, summer, and, fall.