Hotel Boom Means More Rooms, More Variety for Tourists and Business Travelers in Palm Beach County
Published on 10.26.2019
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Looking for a quiet, luxury boutique hotel just two blocks from the ocean in Palm Beach? Or a new tourist hotel with a rooftop bar in downtown Delray Beach? Or just in town for a quick business visit near the airport?
Business and leisure travelers who visit Palm Beach County have a growing number of choices in new hotels that are just coming online, and older ones that have undergone makeovers.
Amid the arrivals of the high speed Brightline train service, a new convention center hotel and the emergence of condo and apartment high rises in downtown West Palm Beach, hotel projects are sprouting in multiple locations around the county.
Currently, more than a dozen projects with nearly 2,000 rooms are under construction. with anticipated completion dates ranging from late this year to 2021, according to Discover The Palm Beaches Florida, the county’s tourism marketing arm.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, The Breakers in Palm Beach and The Yacht Club at Boca Raton Resort & Club have all emerged within the past year from multimillion dollar transformations aimed at wooing high end guests.
But a study conducted for the tourism agency says the northern part of the county — particularly Palm Beach Gardens — actually needs 600 more rooms over the next several years because of a jobs boom in the area.
“We’re in an area where there is a significant amount of population growth,” said Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches.
Another factor: out-of-state companies are increasingly locating operations in the county, boosting the numbers of business travelers. The convention and conference business is also on the rise as corporations and industry associations choose to talk strategy and stage presentations at the county’s big resorts.
“There are a lot of corporations based in Boca that bring technology folks to talk about new initiatives,” he said.
Palm Beach County is a strong hotel market, said Rich Lillis, executive director, hotels, USA, for Colliers International, the worldwide real estate services firm.
He sees Boca Raton, where he is based, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach as emerging markets, and Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter as “strong sub markets.” While Lillis agrees that business travelers are important contributors, “tourism itself is very, very strong.”
Many of the new hotels are Marriotts and Hiltons offering specialty brands to their long-time customers.
“You see Delray Beach has really emerged as a booming tourist area,” he said. “The hotels in Delray do very well.”
Overall, Lillis is optimistic about the county’s hotel future “because the economy seems to be racing along and tourism keeps on growing.” But he said that while revenues and occupancy rates are holding up countywide, “I honestly wonder if all of them will end up materializing.”
Hotels on the Drawing Board
Below are 11 projects with 1,700 rooms in the final stages of planning:
Source: Discover The Palm Beaches, South Florida Sun Sentinel research, published reports.
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