Hotels are seeing more traffic as travel restrictions are being eased in a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The American Hotel and Lodging Assn. estimated that COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry in 2020 was about nine times of that from 9/11. In anticipation of a better year, hotel construction is resuming in many areas.
The U.S. led the world in new hotel and room openings during the first quarter of 2021, according to data from STR, a hospitality research firm. Its AM:PM platform showed the country’s construction activity continues to decline in comparison with pre-pandemic levels, however, as over the three-month period, the U.S. opened 220 properties accounting for 26,057 rooms. In addition, the number of rooms currently in construction in the U.S. is down almost 34,000 from the country’s all-time construction peak (220,207 rooms in April 2020). In April, 237,703 hotel rooms are in the planning stage and 186,269 rooms are under construction.
Among those hotels in the planning stage is the first new Signia by Hilton to be constructed. A joint venture led by Skanska and SG Contracting are providing preconstruction and construction management services for the $308.25 million Atlanta project, which will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification. Skanska’s U.S. building operation is focused on leading the transition to lower-carbon structures with an ambitious global target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in its operations and value chain by 2045.
Connected to and serving as the headquarters hotel for the GWCC (Georgia World Congress Center), the new hotel will be located on the northwest corner of the GWCC campus, overlooking Mercedes-Benz Stadium and connected to GWCC by way of walkway. The hotel, designed by Gensler, set to open in early 2024, will generate an estimated 600 construction jobs.
Signia by Hilton is a new upscale brand from Hilton. The 1,225,000-sq.ft. Atlanta hotel will feature 975 guest rooms in its 40 stories. There will also be 75,000-sq.ft. of world-class meeting and event space, fitness facilities with a 6,670-sq.ft. pool deck, a market, two chef-driven restaurants, and three destination bars.
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