Mayor John Tecklenburg’s call for a temporary ban on new hotels in Charleston misses the point that there are not too many hotels in Charleston, but too few. Charleston is a destination city, and in order to remain so, it must provide destinations for out-of-town guests.
The demand for temporary lodging, e.g., hotel rooms, is manifest in the large number of newly listed Airbnb rooms, the high price of current hotel rooms and the insistence by most bed-and-breakfast owners on two-night or longer stays.
I sought a hotel room for April 23, 2016 — when no big events were occurring — in the historic district of Charleston. According to the Trivago website, there are 118 hotels in Charleston. Of them only 35 had any availability. Of the 14 of those in the historic district, the average price was $380 before taxes.
These data show that the supply of hotel rooms in Charleston is far smaller than the demand for them. Charleston needs more hotel rooms to meet the demand and retain its status as America’s No. 1 destination city.
Cat Tail Pond