At least 32 hotels are under construction, recently opened or pending construction in nearly every sizable population center in Idaho.
Hotels are in the works in the Treasure Valley, in Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Three are underway in three Wood River Valley communities, with another three announced in Burley. One recently opened in Lewiston, two are pending in Coeur d’Alene and, in March, one opened and another started construction in Rexburg.
Sandpoint, Moscow, Mountain Home and the McCall area are the only population or tourism centers in Idaho with no new hotel action.
The surge of hotel construction was overdue.
“There was no new supply of hotels for a number of years,” said John Cunningham, CEO of The Grove Hotel, which will remain the largest hotel in the downtown Boise core, even with two newly opened hotels and two more under construction with blocks of The Grove. “We had the recession. But demand was increasing. It was an opportunity for developers to look at hotels again and there are still attractive interest rates.”
In downtown Boise, the hotel boom started in March 2015 and within five months four hotel projects were announced. A June 2015 Downtown Boise Hotel Market Study done by PKF Consulting USA, a CBRE company, identified a shortage of 580 rooms for downtown Boise.
Faced with new competition, managers of existing hotels say Boise’s economic growth will absorb the growth.
“There will be enough (business) for everybody, I think,” said Steve Rich, general manager for 12 years at the Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown Boise/University at the base of the Boise Depot. “If we really want to bring in higher business that the convention center can accommodate, we need more hotels. There might be drops in occupancy in downtown (in the short term) but I think it will be building back again in the near future. It’s all good.”
Downtown Boise will see an additional 598 rooms. And, near Boise Airport, Holiday Inn Express added 104 rooms in 2016 and Comfort Inn & Suites just started construction on a 108-room hotel.
You can read see a full list of hotels and read the full story online here. Or find it in the June 16 print edition of the Idaho Business Review, or as part of SquareFeet, IBR’s upcoming quarterly real estate and construction magazine, which will focus in July on the hospitality industry.