Monday, August 4, 2008

Hotel Utica Countdown: H - 9 Days

How time flies. It seems like just yesterday that the ongoing Hotel Utica debacle entered it's latest phase, but now we're just nine days away from discovering how Mayor Dave Roefaro and the crack team at City Hall are going to solve the whole sorry mess:

Mayor David Roefaro said in 90 days the city should have a resolution to Hotel Utica’s continuing pattern of falling behind on its tax and federal loan payments.

Roefaro and Urban and Economic Development Commissioner Robert Sullivan Thursday met with hotel co-owners Joseph R. Carucci and Charles N. Gaetano. The mayor said a few options were discussed, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

That 90-day period comes to a close on August 13th. Will Roefaro stick to his principles and refuse to continue subsidizing a private business? Or will he cave and keep the Hotel Utica's taxpayer-supported gravy train chugging along?

Update: As the suspense builds, keep in mind that the Hotel Utica *should* be one of the most successful hotels in the country based on it's own business figures. Here's a flashback to some numbers from earlier this year:

What an interesting contrast. By any objective standard the Hotel Utica is in desperate financial straits, as it's inability to make regular tax and mortgage payments would clearly demonstrate. Business must be terrible, right?

Actually, no. If the given figure of a 70% occupancy rate is true the Hotel Utica is doing some boffo business. In fact, based on numbers from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, it's occupancy rate is well above average. Here are the latest figures for the hotel industry as a whole:

At-a-Glance Statistical Figures

4,389,443 guestrooms
$133.4 billion in sales
$61.93 revenue per available room (RevPAR)
63.3% average occupancy rate

The average room rate was $97.78 in 2006—up from $90.88 in 2005.

A quick check of Travelocity shows that the weekday rate at the Hotel Utica is $99.99 while the weekend rate is $149.99.

That means both the hotel's standard room price and occupancy rate is well above the industry average, which would seem to be exactly what you want for a thriving hotel.