David Sangree weighs in on Iskalo’s Hyatt Place

David J. Sangree, was interviewed by the Buffalo News regarding Iskalo Development’s new 137-room Hyatt Place hotel in Buffalo.

Iskalo’s Hyatt Place – one of many new hotels in the region – nears completion

BY:Johnathon D. Epstein
PUBLISHED: May, 2015

It’s been nearly four years in the making, but Williamsville developer Paul B. Iskalo is looking forward to seeing his new hotel in business this summer – more than a year later than originally planned after a bruising battle with neighbors.

Iskalo Development’s new 137-room Hyatt Place Hotel is slated to open its doors by late June or July, welcoming its first guests to what was a rear parking lot behind the now-gutted Lord Amherst Hotel, overlooking the I-290 at Main Street.

It will join a crowded field of new hotels entering the market – from the outer ring suburbs to Buffalo’s downtown core – that have some questioning if the region is reaching the saturation point for new rooms. Erie County now has 111 hotels, an increase of 18 since 2008.

And more are planned.

As many as 30 new hotels and more than 2,500 hotel rooms are coming online, according to research firm STR Inc., including the new Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter and the Westin Hotel at 250 Delaware Ave. That’s after the region already expanded its hotel market from 9,068 rooms to 11,685 since 2008.

Meanwhile, revenue per room grew less than 1 percent in Erie County last year, compared to more than 8 percent nationally, and Erie County’s average rate of just under $100 is well below the nation at $115, according to data from STR and Visit Buffalo Niagara.

“Where are all the people coming from, the visitors?” asked David Hart, CEO of Buffalo-based Hart Hotels. “I’m totally skeptical, especially because Canadian business is so fleeting that it’s like a water faucet. You could turn it off in an instant. I am absolutely concerned.”

But industry consultant David J. Sangree, president of Cleveland-based Hotel & Leisure Advisors, said every market in the country is seeing increased hotel development because lenders finally opened up the spigots for hospitality projects after the recession. The region’s hotels posted an overall occupancy of 64 percent last year, according to STR. That is above the threshold developers want, said Sangree. to read the entire article, click here.