Hotel operators in Santa Monica and Marina del Rey will see a 15% increase in the demand for rooms and a 20% to 25% increase in room rates in the next few years, but they may find a shortage of labor, a hotel consultant predicted this week.
R. Britton Colbert of Laventhol & Horwath made his forecast as part of a round-table discussion of hotel operators Tuesday at the Loew's Santa Monica Beach Hotel. According to Colbert, the current average occupancy rate for area hotels is 75%, and the average daily room rate is $99.
Restaurateur Michael McCarty, who is planning a small luxury hotel at the site of the Sand and Sea Club on Pacific Coast Highway, compared the hotel market in Santa Monica to the upscale restaurant market in Santa Monica 10 years ago, when he opened his eatery. At that time, most upscale restaurants were in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
For the first five years, his restaurant was the only upscale restaurant in Santa Monica, but in the last five years more than a dozen others have opened.