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Hotel ballroom Photo by KayTaenzer / © Getty Images

Ballroom Bust: Hotel Developers Aren't Building Big-Box Hotels with Ballrooms

Hotel developers are not building as many big-box hotels with big ballrooms, leaving event planners searching harder for these traditional event venues

Sleeping rooms, yes. But big event rooms, no. Hotel developers are shifting focus away from "upper upscale" hotels—the big box properties with big-time ballrooms—to build more middle-market hotels. As a result, event and meeting planners are facing a strange new squeeze on traditional event space, says our sister media group MeetingsNet:

“We are not building ballrooms anymore!” Call that the quote of the month, coming from STR’s latest U.S. Hotel Industry Forecast presentation, delivered at a hotel conference this week by Amanda Hite, STR president and CEO.  So what does it mean? For the past several years, the upscale (example: Courtyard by Marriott) and upper-midscale (example: Hampton Inn) hotel segments have dominated the construction scene. The trend continued in 2016, and will continue into 2017, says STR senior vice president of operations Bobby Bowers. As of April, there were 56,000 new upscale rooms and 53,000 new upper-midscale rooms under construction in the U.S.—the top two segments. Meanwhile, the upper-upscale segment (which includes “big box” properties and others that planners would think of as meeting hotels) came in a very distant third with 15,000 rooms under way … --MeetingsNet

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