HVS Global Hospitality Services
Market Intelligence Report: Asheville, North Carolina 5
Ellington will contribute to the fund for a period of 70 years, with additional contributions to come each time the hotel is sold before June 1, 2080.
Another upscale hotel project and a major renovation are also in the works. The Asheville City Council gave unanimous approval on October 14, 2008, for a seven-story hotel in Downtown Asheville. The developer, McKibbon Hotel Group, has proposed building an aloft hotel on the site; the aloft represents Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ new high-design, upscale, select-service brand. The project, which will also include a city-funded parking garage with spaces leased back to the hotel developer, is considered a “catalytic development” with the “. . . potential to stimulate additional investment or provide missing uses that are critical to maximizing downtown vitality.”2 According to Starwood, the aloft is set to open in January of 2011.
The owner of the Haywood Park complex, which includes the Haywood Park Hotel, the Haywood Atrium, an interior parking garage, and a building and parking lot on Page Avenue, plans to refurbish the hotel property and lease empty space in the Atrium and Promenade.3
Tourism to Asheville is expected to slow through 2009 and early 2010, before the stabilization of the economy initiates a return to growth. The local hospitality industry thrives on this demand, which in turn served as a core driver for the economic growth of the greater Asheville area. Hence, the downward trend in tourism levels somewhat upsets the balance of the city’s economy. The upscale lodging sector has expanded over the last several years, and the hotel projects now in development will continue to evolve the lodging market as a whole, and Downtown Asheville in particular. The recession has had an impact on the local tourism industry and thus the lodging market, albeit a modest one to date. The current trends can be expected to slow the absorption of the supply scheduled to enter the market in 2009. However, over the longer term the outlook is for a return to the positive trends that have characterized the market over the past decade. This classic southern city retains its composure even in the midst of national economic trouble, and more bright years are expected to lie ahead.