Developers add to Coppell, Irving hotel inventory

Image description
Image description
Developers have long considered Irving a prime market for new hotel projects based on the city’s proximity to airports and its laundry list of major regional employers.

“That’s why the market is so appealing,” said Maura Gast, Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. “It’s the location between both airports. It’s also ... the corporate presence that’s here or near this radius.”

Despite now housing more than 80 hotels within the city limits, the fervor among developers to construct new projects has not died down.

Eight new projects are either under construction or expected to open soon in Irving. They will add more than 1,500 rooms to the city’s existing hotel room inventory.

Market indicators such as occupancy rates and revenue per available room show the city can stand to add even more hotels, industry experts say. But there is dissension among some city officials about whether there is a need for any more.


“We are beginning to get too many hotels into our city,” Irving City Council Member Kyle Taylor said at an Oct. 3 meeting on plans for one of the new hotel projects. “We have had conversations with our folks that run the conventions and visitors bureau, and they have told us this. ... So I will be voting ‘no.’” City Council ultimately approved plans for the new project with a 6-2 vote at that meeting.

Coppell enters market


Irving is not the only city to see more hotel business—neighboring Coppell is working to tap into the market. With two hotels recently unveiled, the city anticipates opening more in the coming years. Most are located along SH 121 near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“[Developers] wouldn’t be coming if they didn’t see the opportunity for business there,” Coppell Chamber of Commerce President Ellie Braxton-Leveen said.

Similar to Irving, Coppell Community Development Director Mindi Hurley said the city’s proximity to the airport has helped to attract more developers.

“Everything around the airport is a ripe market for hotels,” Hurley said. “We did incentivize the first few hotels.

“Since that point, we’ve been able to back off. ... I think it has a lot to do with available land, an untapped market.”


Corporate travel hub


Though Irving’s large international companies, such as ExxonMobil and Kimberly-Clark Corp., contribute to the city’s traveler base, some of the smaller companies also draw visitors to Irving hotels, Gast said.

“We don’t have Hilti’s headquarters here in Irving ... but we have their training facility,” she said. “Our hotels do a lot of volume with that training facility.”And area hotels’ reliance on weekday travelers shows in the numbers. Irving’s highest occupancy rates in 2018 were Wednesdays in July at 88.6%. The Irving CVB is working to attract more weekend travelers by providing various entertainment attractions, Gast said.

“The bread and butter for our hotels in Irving is business travel,” Gast said. “Now what we’re able to do on the weekends, not just with the [Toyota] Music Factory, [but] the type of business the convention center is able to generate ... these are groups that weren’t in Irving before.”

Irving hotels’ performance should remain steady so long as corporations remain in the city and travelers continue passing through the Dallas/Fort Worth and Love Field airports, said Scott Joslove, president and CEO of the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association. “Every market is different in terms of their elasticity,” Joslove said. “Irving is more of a corporate market. ... While business is strong and ... the airport traffic is strong, I think you’re going to see a strong Irving hotel market.”


Reasons for building


Irving banker and hotel developer Sushil Patel said he sees the convention center and music factory being demand generators for some of his future hotels.

Patel and his family are constructing two hotels near the intersection of SH 114 and O’Connor Road in Las Colinas: one Marriott and one Hilton.

“In real estate, location is always key,” he said. “However, in hotel business, in addition to location, it’s what franchise affiliation are you going with. ... As a result of consolidation ... each consumer usually prefers a certain brand family over the other.”

But sometimes the consumer does not have a say in which hotel they stay in, Gast said.

“Corporate may have negotiated rates every year to do a certain volume of business with a certain brand or chain of brands,” she said. “That is not uncommon for large corporations. So not every traveler has discretion on where they’re staying.”

Though similar in size and amenities, there are four hotels projects underway in Irving’s northwest corner alone. They all come from different brand families: Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group and Radisson Hospitality.

Patel said he primarily bases his decisions to construct new hotels on current market performance.

“The only thing that we do have as of now is statistical reporting that shows that the Irving hotel market is robust,” Patel said. “There have not been so many new hotel properties built except for the Westin and the Texican.”

Irving reported an average occupancy rate of 73% in July. Joslove said those numbers look good to developers.“If you have a market that’s 70% or higher occupancy, you’re going to see more building,” he said. “If the market is strong, [then] there’s arguably still opportunities for development.”

Hotel abundance


While Irving hotels are reporting strong occupancy rates, Gast said she worries the hotel supply could reach a tipping point and outpace demand.

“And we’re going to always be concerned about that,” she said. “We can do that because we are not hotel developers, and we don’t own land.”

Of the 86 hotels reported in Irving’s July STR report, they accounted for 12,727 rooms. The additional eight hotels would increase that room number to about 14,200.

“I don’t doubt that [developers] are going to build a quality product,” Gast said. “My worry isn’t today. My worry is 10 years down the road. My worry is when the market gets soft.”

And because the Irving CVB is funded exclusively by the city’s 9% hotel tax, market downturns can mean tough times.

Patel pointed to council’s recent flexibility on granting exceptions on some hotel building standards, such as required number of rooms and the types of amenities offered, as a reason for why there may be more projects.

“Because of the variances that [are] being granted ... all of a sudden it opens up the floodgate,” Patel said.

A saturated hotel market would translate to lower occupancy rates and less construction, Joslove said.

“People are not going to build hotels as prolifically when you’re at 60% occupancy as they do when you’re 72% occupancy,” Joslove said.

Still, Gast said she recognizes that some small land parcels can have little use other than a hotel.

“If you’re the landowner, you didn’t buy the land to sit on it,” Gast said. “So what can you develop on it based on where you are? And sometimes the answer is going to be a 100-room hotel.”

SHARE THIS STORY
By Gavin Pugh

After reporting for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano paper for over two years, Gavin launched the Coppell, Valley Ranch and Las Colinas edition in October 2019. As editor, Gavin's beat includes transportation, municipal government, education and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


MOST RECENT

Park ’N Fly to add car-wash services at Coppell location

Park ’N Fly received Coppell City Council approval Dec. 10 to add a car wash to its car-parking service at 800 S. Royal Lane, Coppell.

karen hunt & dana dillard 2020 state of the city coppell
Coppell mayor, city officials highlight 2019 accomplishments in state-of-the-city event

Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt listed the city's recent work on city roads, water infrastructure updates and expanded trail networks as major accomplishments of 2019.

There are 1.3 million registered voters countywide as of Jan. 23, according to the Dallas County Elections Office. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Number of registered voters up in Dallas County ahead of March 3 presidential primary

Those who wish to vote in the primary must register by Feb. 3.

Frost Fest includes a snow tubing hill and play area. (Courtesy city of Irving)
To-do list: Attend these annual events in Coppell, Irving

Here are some things to do in Coppell and Irving in January and February. This list also includes annual events.

Construction work on Sam Rayburn tollway will add an additional lane in both directions of traffic.. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Sam Rayburn Tollway widening project to last into late 2021

The North Texas Tollway Authority began a widening project throughout the Sam Rayburn Tollway in late 2018.

Jam + Toast celebrates 1-year anniversary in Irving

Jam + Toast celebrated its one-year anniversary on Dec. 7 at 3351 Regent Blvd., Ste. 140, Irving.

iBloom Montessori opens on Bent Branch Drive in Irving

A new school, iBloom Montessori, opened in the fall at 7650 Bent Branch Drive, Irving.

IISD trustees approved the 2020-21 calendar at a Jan. 21 meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Irving ISD trustees adopt 2020-21 academic calendar

The Irving ISD board of trustees approved the district's 2020-21 academic calendar at a Jan. 21 meeting.

Coppell Pediatric Dentistry opened in December. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Coppell Pediatric Dentistry opens office along SH 121

Coppell Pediatric Dentistry opened in December at 137 SH 121, Ste. 110, Coppell.

Outta the Oven to relocate within Irving

Outta the Oven began the relocation process at the end of December to a new storefront at 825 W. Royal Lane, Irving.

fotolia classroom stock image
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD adopts 2020-21 academic calendar

The Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD board of trustees adopted its 2020-21 academic calendar at a Jan. 16 meeting.

Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer (left) and former WFAA anchor Brad Watson take their seats at the 2020 Irving state-of-the-city event. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Irving mayor highlights 2019 accomplishments, sets sights on 2020 at state-of-the-city event

Irving’s annual state-of-the-city event highlighted recent economic development efforts while looking forward to city projects slated for 2020.

Back to top