Why Hotel Rates are Dropping in Downtown Pittsburgh

Rents for Downtown apartments also are declining.

photo by dave dicello


If you spent the night in either a Downtown hotel or an apartment of your own, it cost you a bit less in 2016.

In its annual “2017 State of Downtown Pittsburgh Report,” the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership reports the average hotel occupancy rate dropped to 66 percent last year —  down 4 percent from the previous two years. The average room rate dropped to $159, down from a peak of $162 two years ago.

Despite the dip, Downtown hotels outperformed the overall Pittsburgh market, which saw its occupancy rate drop 6 percent to 59 percent in 2016.

“The hotel market in Downtown is still really strong,” Jeremy Waldrup, the partnership’s president and CEO. told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  “From a Downtown perspective, we’re still pretty confident that we can fill these rooms.”

The apartment occupancy rate was flat through the first three quarters of 2016 before dropping to slightly more than 90 percent in the fourth quarter of the year. The rental rate per square foot also fell slightly, to $1.83.

Overall, 14,764 people now live Downtown, that’s up 22 percent since 2010.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Restaurants and bars continue to flourish, with 30 new food and beverage establishments opening last year and another 10 to date in 2017. Most of the new eateries are on the North Shore, Mellon Square and Market Square.
  • Market Square and the 900 block of Penn Avenue are the hot spots Downtown. Thanks to 12 new restaurants since 2012, pedestrian counts were up 30 percent in the square last year. The counts exploded in the 900 block of Penn Avenue –– up 108 percent since 2012 ––  where eight new restaurants opened in the last four years.


Categories: The 412