by Matt Alderton | August 03, 2018
Because of the noise, traffic and dust it creates, the construction of new hotels can be a headache for those who live near it. For meeting professionals, however, the construction of new hotels today can yield major benefits tomorrow -- including more choice, more inventory and, oftentimes, more competitive rates.

Planners who want to know where they might find increased choice and affordability should therefore consult the quarterly "Construction Pipeline Trend Report" from Lodging Econometrics (LE), the latest version of which was published this week.

According to LE, the total U.S. construction pipeline stands at 5,312 projects with 634,501 guest rooms, which is up 7 percent from the same time last year, when there were 4,973 projects underway with 598,371 guest rooms. "The pipeline has been growing moderately and incrementally each quarter and should continue its upward growth trend as long as the economy remains strong," LE said in a press release, adding that pipeline totals are still "significantly below the all-time high," which was 5,883 projects with 785,547 rooms in 2008.

As for the strongest markets: LE said the five U.S. cities with the largest hotel pipelines are New York, where there are 169 projects in the pipeline with 29,365 guest rooms; Dallas, where there are 156 projects in the pipeline with 18,908 guest rooms; Houston, where there are 150 projects in the pipeline with 16,321 guest rooms; Nashville, where there are 123 projects in the pipeline with 16,392 guest rooms; and Los Angeles, where there are 121 projects in the pipeline with 18,037 guest rooms.

Most of those cities also lead the country in terms of hotels that are actually under construction. The top five markets in that category are: New York, which has 101 hotels currently under construction with 17,108 new guest rooms; Dallas, which has 47 hotels currently under construction with 6,350 new guest rooms; Nashville, which has 43 hotels currently under construction with 7,005 guest rooms; Houston, which has 40 hotels currently under construction with 4,738 guest rooms; and Atlanta, which has 28 hotels currently under construction with 3,387 guest rooms.

Among the new hotels that meeting planners and attendees can look forward to in these burgeoning cities are: The Times Square EDITION in New York, which will open in September 2018 with 452 guest rooms, a 5,000-square-foot performance venue and a 1,900-square-foot "meeting studio"; the Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center in Allen, Texas, near Dallas, which will open in January 2019 with 300 guest rooms and 90,000 square feet of meeting space; and the Houston Cityplace Marriott at Springwoods Village in Spring, Texas, near Houston, which will open in November 2018 with 337 guest rooms and 33,000 square feet of meeting space.