Derby weekend hotel rates rise despite increased competition
Louisville-area hotels managed to push their average rates for the Kentucky Derby weekend into record territory this year despite more competition and a slight drop in demand for rooms.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville-area hotels managed to push their average rates for the Kentucky Derby weekend into record territory this year despite more competition and a slight drop in demand for rooms.
A hotel room in the Louisville-Southern Indiana metro area cost an average of $511 on Friday, the highest Derby Eve rate in at least five years, according to STR, a data and analytics company serving the hotel industry.
The Derby Eve rate was up from $507 on the same night in 2016. Meanwhile, the average Derby Day rate inched up to $505, from $503 last year.
But STR’s information also shows a 1 percent drop in hotel rooms sold during this year’s Derby weekend Thursday-Saturday period compared to 2016. And, there were about 1 percent more hotel rooms on the market this year.
In all, hotels raked in about the same amount of revenue during the three-day Derby period -- $28.3 million – as in 2016, according to WDRB’s analysis of the data.
Downtown Louisville has seen a hotel boom in the last five years, and about 600 more rooms are set to hit the market when the 30-story Omni Hotel opens in 2018.
During Derby weekend, hotels also face increased competition from the growing popularity of home rental sites, primarily AirBnB.
There were 21,284 hotel rooms available in the Louisville-Southern Indiana area during last week’s Derby -- 209 more than the year before, according to STR.
But hotels actually sold 558 fewer room nights over the three-day weekend than in 2016.