5 Fascinating U.S. Hotel Facts

by  Amanda Black | Aug 27, 2013
Hotel room
Hotel room / Kwanchai_Khammuean/iStock

Want to know the scope of the hotel industry in the U.S.? Try these stats on for size: Of the $2 trillion generated by the travel and tourism industry in the U.S., $158.4 billion of that comes from lodging, and $2.1 billion of that will be generated from hotel fees and surcharges alone. In fact, one in eight U.S. jobs is in the travel industry. According to the U.S. Travel Association, "Each U.S. household would pay $1,060 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by travel and tourism." Here are some other interesting facts we uncovered about hotels in America:

1. The largest capacity hotel (and city):
Unsurprisingly, the largest hotel in the U.S. can be found in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand is the third largest hotel in the world, with 5,690 rooms. We were pretty amazed to find, though, that 23 of the largest 35 hotels on the planet are located within the same two-mile radius in Vegas, too.

2. The tallest hotel:
Standing at 1,389 feet tall, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago is 92 stories high. It's also the third tallest building in the U.S. (the Willis Tower, also in Chicago, comes in a number two, and the newly constructed One World Trade Center in NYC, is number one). In comparison, the tallest hotel in the world is in Dubai; the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai (pictured) is 1,165.84 feet tall. In that case, the hotel takes up the entire tower, whereas the Trump houses other kinds of spaces, including condos.

3. The first hotel (and brand):
The first establishment that was called a hotel in the U.S. was built in 1793 – it was the Union Public Hotel in Washington, D.C. In 1929, Western Hotels, which is now Westin and operating under Starwood Hotels & Resorts, started their brand with 17 hotels in the Pacific Northwest. They established the first hotel management company in the country. Also in 1929, The Oakland Airport Hotel became the first American airport hotel.

4. The average room rate, then and now:
According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), in 1940, the average hotel room rate was just $3.21. Today, that average daily rate has reached $110.89. Sure, that sounds like a pretty big increase, but let's go a little bit further: $3.21 in 1940 converted to today's currency rate (factoring in inflation) is roughly equal to $53.56. So over 73 years, that hotel rate has only gone up just over 50 percent. Of course, that seems like a low number, but you have to keep in mind that it's just an average

5. The number of hotel employees, then and now:
In 1910, the AHLA was founded as the American Hotel Protective Association. At that time, they found that the U.S. hotel industry was made up of 10,000 hotels, 1 million rooms, and roughly 300,000 employees. At year-end in 2012 there were 52,529 hotels, 4.9 million rooms, and the hotel industry employed 1.8 million people. In 2012, hotels employed six times as many people as they did in 1910, but there are only 42,529 more hotels. In 1910, on average, each hotel only employed three people. Now, the average is about 34 people per hotel.

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