Cy-Fair sees multiple new hotel projects

Population growth and company relocations around the Cy-Fair area have created an increased demand for hospitality projects, catching the eye of several major hotel developers.

Hotel projects that opened in the Cy-Fair area in 2014 tended to be concentrated at major intersections around FM 1960, Hwy. 290, Hwy. 249 and Beltway 8. Development in Cy-Fair is a good representation of positive movement in the community, said Leslie Martone, president of the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce. The chamber hosted a ribbon cutting for a new Comfort Suites on FM 1960 in November.

"I think any business that is thinking about coming to our area is going to look for this kind of development for events or conferences," she said. "The Comfort Suites, given its location, is a perfect example."

Miranda Winters, general manager of the new Marriott Residence Inn Houston Northwest, slated to open in January, said the project has already received support from local corporations and businesses.

"The market is on fire right now when you look at how other hotels in the area are performing," Winters said. "This is Marriott's first extended stay project in the Cy-Fair area. We're targeting tourists looking for a weekend getaway, but we're also hoping to bring in long-term guests—visiting sports teams, business professionals."

Hotel projects that opened in 2014 include Best Western and Staybridge Suites in the Willowbrook area, a Comfort Suites at Hwy. 290 and FM 1960 and Courtyard Marriott at Beltway 8 and Hwy. 290. Luigi Major, managing director with consulting firm HVS Houston, said the population growth around Cy-Fair meant some hotel development was inevitable, but the extent of the growth has been surprising.

"With both occupancies and average rates at the highest level in history, the near-term outlook remains promising," Major said.

Occupancy rates

Hotel occupancy rates in the Northwest Houston submarket—covering the northwest Beltway 8 and Hwy. 290 area—have been steadily increasing since dropping off after the 2008 recession. PKF Consulting, which releases annual reports on hotel occupancy, found rates in 2013 were higher than they were before the recession, with projections to continue rising to 70 percent through 2015.

Occupancy rates above 65 percent indicate that new hotel developments are needed within a market, said Nuresh Maredia, a hospitality consultant with Hotel & Leisure Advisors.

"We project that the hotel industry in the [Greater] Houston area will continue to grow," he said in a report. "Developers and investors continue to express interest in building new properties."

Rising occupancy rates in the northwest submarket were a factor in why some developers opened new hotels in the area.

"The northwest part of Houston was chosen due to the constant expansion and development in the area," said Vicky Bhakta, owner of a new Best Western Ashton Suites in Willowbrook." The area has developed tremendously and I saw the potential for additional hotel rooms."

Economic effect

The increase in people staying in Harris County hotels creates additional money raised through the county's Hotel Occupancy Tax. The HOT tax rate in unincorporated Harris County is 2 percent of the cost of a room. Money raised from this tax goes to support the county budget and is used to promote tourism.

An additional 2 percent charge in Harris County supports the Houston Sports Authority. In addition to those taxes, the state of Texas also charges a rate of 6 percent. However, hotels in unincorporated Harris County are not subject to the 7 percent rate applied to hotels within the limits of Houston.

Together, new hotel projects in Cy-Fair are projected to add 343 suites to the northwest submarket between 2012 and 2014. Despite the increase in supply, the cost per room is projected to increase as well.

The average daily rate in Northwest Houston rose from $79.09 in 2012 to a projected $92.50 in 2014, according to a PKF Consulting report. This could lead to a cooling of hotel development in the future, said PFK's Randy McCaslin at the firm's annual hotel industry luncheon, but not like what occurred after the 2008 recession.

"We will still be strong, but it will be [slower]," McCaslin said. "We are in a sweet spot, and we won't see a dip like we did in 2009 if the economy stays the same."

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


METRONext is the agency’s $3.5 billion bond approved by voters in November 2019, which aims to ease traffic congestion, add expansion to the METRO, and make accessibility and safety upgrades.
(Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO Board approves $1.3 billion budget, discusses METRONext projects

The METRO board of directors met Sept. 21 to give an overview of the drafted budget as well as to receive public comments. It was unanimously approved at the Sept. 23 board meeting.

Left to right: The Senator IPA, Speak Sam Rayburn Pecan Porter and Smoke Show Roasted Jalapeno Blonde are among the most popular brews at Senate Avenue Brewing Co. (Emily Jaroszewski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Senate Avenue Brewing Co. to celebrate first anniversary in Jersey Village

Andrew and Michelle Mitcham opened Senate Avenue Brewing Co. last October in Jersey Village.

The Texas Secretary of State's office has launched an audit of 2020 election results in four of Texas’ largest counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Texas Secretary of State's office announces audit of 2020 election results in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Harris counties

In a statement released Sept. 23, the office said it anticipates the state Legislature will fund the process.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

Big League Dreams will reopen in December with updated turf, seating, nets, fencing, graphics and other upgrades. (Courtesy city of League City)
Big League Dreams to reopen in League City; New Caney ISD officials address student possession of a gun, and more top stories from Greater Houston

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Greater Houston area.

The new clinic opened in the Fairfield area in late August. (Courtesy Houston Methodist)
Houston Methodist Primary Care Group opens new Cypress clinic

Board-certified family medicine physician Dr. Rashad Ramkissoon will serve patients at the new clinic.

Comcast will award $1 million to small businesses owned by people of color in Fort Bend and Harris counties (Courtesy Fotolia)
Comcast Rise Investment Fund to award small business grants in Harris, Fort Bend counties

Comcast will award $1 million to small businesses owned by people of color in Fort Bend and Harris counties.

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

Amy Wine Counseling opened in 2016. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Amy Wine Counseling Center celebrates fifth anniversary in Cy-Fair

The local counseling center serves children, teens, adults, couples and families.

La Viva Cantina is now open. (Courtesy La Viva Cantina)
Tex-Mex eatery La Viva Cantina now open in Cypress

La Viva Cantina opened this month at Fairfield Town Center.

Houston resident Marissa Hanson spoke on keeping tax rates low during the Harris County Commissioners Court public hearing on Sept. 21. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Commissioners propose tax cuts at cost of Harris Health System funding

On average, Harris County homeowners may see lower tax rates in the next year, but it will come at the cost of $17 million in funding for the county’s hospital district, according to Harris County Administrator David Berry.

The Factory Salon is opening soon in Fairfield. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Factory Salon to open new location this fall in Fairfield

Services include haircuts, blowouts, coloring and balayage, perms, conditioning treatments, facial waxing, and makeup and eyelash applications from Aveda-trained stylists.