From a management perspective, resort hotels are a unique form of lodging. Multiple restaurants, lounges, retail stores, and recreational outlets make resort properties more complex to operate than the average transient hotel. Due to their relative dependence on the discretionary expenditures of leisure travelers, and incentive-oriented group meeting attendees, resort properties can be extra sensitive to shifts in the economy. In addition, resorts are frequently located in remote locations that present exceptional challenges in terms of supply deliveries, utilities, transportation, and weather.

Because of these unique factors, resort owners and operators need to analyze their operations using some “non-traditional” industry measurements. Occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR are still important statistics, but they have limitations when benchmarking the performance of a resort hotel. Seasonality could limit the annual occupancy rate of a resort thus making comparisons to other hotels less meaningful. The dependence of resorts on “other” revenue sources (food and beverage, golf, spa, tennis, etc…) emphasizes the importance of guest counts as opposed to just occupied rooms. Therefore, total revenue per guest is just as insightful to a resort hotelier as ADR is to a limited-service manager.

To provide resort managers with some of these critical performance measurements, we have analyzed data from the financial statements of 199 resort hotels for the period 1995 through 2004. We also prepared estimates of 2005 performance for these properties based on a preliminary sample of 2005 data. The resorts in the sample averaged 366 rooms in size, with an estimated occupancy of 70.6 percent and an average daily rate of $194.84 in 2005. Rooms revenue comprised just over half (53.7 percent) of the total revenue at these resorts. The data comes from the Trends in the Hotel Industry database of PKF Hospitality Research.

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