Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a
15-part series (appearing on LodgingMagazine.com each Monday) examining
the performance of various markets in the United States. The following
is courtesy of Deloitte’s “Hospitality Vision US Performance Review.”
Overall, the Minneapolis hospitality industry reported a good year.
Metrics from STR show occupancy up 5.7 percent and RevPAR advancing a respectable 10.9 percent in the year-to-November 2011. These gains in RevPAR are above the 25-metro average reported by STR.
Minnesota Public Radio noted an uptick in the industry even before the warm weather, noting in April that lodging revenue was up nearly 12 percent in the state (higher than the national average, but not yet at pre-recession levels).
The upswing is expected to continue with planned hotel expansions and renovations, including downtown Minneapolis projects at the Hyatt Regency and Radisson.
National Geographic picked Minneapolis among the “10 Best Trips of Summer 2011”—only one of two locations in the continental U.S. The editors characterized the city as having a “pedestrian-and-pedal-friendly downtown and welcoming Midwestern vibe,” which “make it easy for first-time visitors to quickly feel at home.” The magazine particularly praised the city’s art/music celebrations and cultural festivals.
Watkins Research Group, named Minneapolis’s convention and visitors’ bureau—Meet Minneapolis—third-best among those in 46 North American cities (bizjournals.com). In December, Meet Minneapolis revealed a new tagline for the city—“Minneapolis: City by Nature”—along with an initiative intended to increase visitors by 300,000 annually. According to the mayor, job growth is the main objective behind the new ad campaign (promoters say the hoped-for growth could add up to 500 hospitality jobs in the city).
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is the second-most fiscally efficient large airport in North America, according to an analysis of 2009 data by the Air Transport Research Society, which concluded that the cost per boarding passenger at MSP is among the lowest for hub airports in North America. In 2011, a study by FlightStats (an online flight tracking and airport information service) named MSP the second most punctual airport in the world (cambridge-news.co.uk). In 2011, MSP added full-body scanners at its security gates that provide far less-revealing X-ray-like images. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing also now have access to visual (as well as audio) paging services (bizjournals.com).