Hotels expect to spend a record $6 billion on upgrades this year

Jose Luis works on drywall inside the foyer of the Pasadena Ballroom of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in 2010. Hotels across the country are expected to spend a record $6 billion on upgrades in 2014.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

In the wake of the economic crisis, struggling hotels across the country put off most upgrades and expansions, such as installing new carpeting, buying bigger television sets and renovating lobbies.

But with the economy rebounding, the nation’s hotels are expected to spend a record $6 billion this year, a 7% increase from 2013, according to a New York University study.

In recent years, hotels have been reducing spending on improvements. In 2009, hotels spent 40% less than the previous year; in 2010, hotels cut spending 18%, according a study by Bjorn Hanson, a professor with the NYU School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management.

Hotels guests can expect the extra spending to go toward faster Internet speeds, new irons and coffee makers, redesigned lobbies, improved work spaces in rooms, larger and newer flat-screen televisions, improved fitness centers and “reconceptionalized restaurants,” the study said.

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