Hotel Bennett aerial

Hotel Bennett will add to the supply of guest rooms on the peninsula when it open this fall on King Street by Marion Square. Leroy Burnell/Staff

Demand for hotel rooms in the Charleston area continues to keep up an increasing supply, according to the latest report from the College of Charleston's Office of Tourism Analysis.

In April, 136 more rooms were available than a year earlier. Yet occupancy was at 89.2 percent, up 2.6 percent from the same month in 2016.

The report is for Charleston County, which includes the peninsula, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and North Charleston. 

For the year, occupancy through April was averaging 76.6 percent, including the slower month of January, when it dipped to 59.8 percent.

At the end of April, 16,073 rooms were available. The average daily room rate was $181.86, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier.

Riding the hotel wave

A Charlotte architectural firm that opened an office in North Charleston two years ago is riding the hotel boom into a bigger office at the end of the month.

R IV Architecture will open a 2,135-square-foot office in Harrell Square at 2000 Sam Rittenburg Blvd. on June 1, according to Michael Remesi, president. 

The firm’s hotel projects that are planned or under construction include a TownPlace Suites on Orleans Road and Home2 Suites on the former Triangle Lanes site on Savannah Highway, both in West Ashley; Home2 Suites on Fairchild Street on Daniel Island; Homewood Suites on Northwoods Boulevard and Courtyard on Northside Drive, both in North Charleston; a Fairfield Inn in Mount Pleasant; and a Staybridge Suites and Tru Hotel on Holiday Drive in Summerville.

R IV is also designing two mixed-use buildings in Bennett Hospitality’s Ferry Wharf project near the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant.

Kyle Woudstra is director of the Charleston office.

Eclipse options

Local businesses continue to gear up to draw visitors for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

Patriots Point announced last week that visitors to the Mount Pleasant naval museum can view the total solar eclipse aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown.

The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has created a "Go Dark Charleston" web page to promote events. Eclipse parties are also planned aboard tour boats, from hotel rooftops and at the Charleston River Dogs' Joe Riley Park, to name a few.

The eclipse is expected at 2:46 p.m. in the Charleston area, although activities will be held on the Yorktown throughout the day, Patriots Point said. The first 3,000 visitors will get a pair of specially coated glasses for the viewing. They will be included in the regular admission price that day.

Visitors can also view the eclipse indirectly on the flight deck. NASA’s four-hour live coverage as the eclipses makes its way eastward across the country will be broadcast on a 20-foot projection screen in the hangar deck.

Christian Iliadis, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will explain the science of a solar eclipse and answer questions throughout the day.

Children can check out space activities set up on the carrier. The Yorktown crew pulled the Apollo 8 space capsule out of the Pacific Ocean after its moon trip in 1968.

 

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.