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Can Bryan/College Station Handle Five New Hotels?

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The market for hotels in Bryan/College Station is in a growth spurt.

"Right now in our area we are going to have the largest increase in inventory that our area has seen in probably about 10 years," said B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau President Barry Biggar.

Bryan/College Station will have a total of 27 hotels, after five finish construction this year. It's a big deal considering, statistics show no more than one new hotel built annually since 2000.

"You had people that decided they wanted to build a hotel, you would think somebody would look around and go wait a minute there's already four under construction maybe I shouldn't build mine, but they did," said Quality Suites general manager Ron Fulton.

Fulton agrees that five hotels is quite a bit. But, occupancy statistics taken by the B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau show adequate growth.

In 2003 Bryan hotels had 49.2% occupancy, and in 2004 the occupancy rate rose to 51.3%. College Station had 63.4% occupancy in 2003, which grew to 64.9% in 2004.

However, Biggar said he will keep an eye on the numbers after the new additions.

"As long as that drop isn't significant when I say significant I'm talking 4 or 5 percentage points, then the demand is keeping up to how much supply we are adding," said Biggar.

Biggar said it's likely to see a drop in occupancy rates come the end of 2005.

Fulton agrees that some hotels may hurt for a year, but he is staying on the brighter side of things. He said the more hotels, the more room for events.

"This would give us an opportunity to bring more in. Last weekend we were full, everybody was full, there were people who had to stay in Navasota," said Fulton.

Fulton also feels, once College Station decides on a conference center, the 27 hotels in town won't suffer.