Waco hotels; King Noodle entering; gas prices; Real Estate Insights

Waco’s lodging industry appears to be flexing its muscles again after becoming limp and sagging during the COVID-19 pandemic, says San Antonio-based Source Strategies, a hospitality consulting firm.

Its detailed report on the performance of hotels and motels across the state in the third quarter contains nuggets that reflect the community well. First, Waco and Laredo tied for first place in hotel occupancy at 67.3%. The new Pivovar Hotel located downtown at Eighth Street and Mary Avenue ranked #1 statewide among new, independent hotels, with Source Strategies applying the REVPAR, or revenue per available room per day, standard. Pivovar, which has been open for four quarters, also has a Czech-themed bakery, restaurant and brasserie. Guests in its 28 rooms can take beer baths if they wish.

Pivovar’s REVPAR in the third quarter was $134.33.

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Staybridge Suites Waco South, located at 205 Colonnade Parkway in Woodway, ranked third among new hotels in the “suites” category, with its REVPAR rising from $70 in the third quarter of last year to $106 in the third quarter of this year, according to Source Strategies.

Finally, Source Strategies ranked the top 500 hotels in Texas based strictly on REVPAR performance. Tru by Hilton Waco South, located in the Central Texas Marketplace, ranked 116, the highest among local properties. Its REVPAR fell from $98 to $147 year over year. The 111-room Hotel Indigo ranked 142nd, with revenue per available room reaching $139.

At 209 was the downtown Waco Hilton, dropping from $114 to $126 year-over-year. Hilton Garden Inn, 5800 Legends Lake Parkway, rated 301, dropping from $96 to $115. Staybridge Suites Waco South claimed the spot number 412. Courtyard by Marriott, located on Washington Avenue near the Waco Convention Center, hit 440, with its REVPAR of $104.

By comparison, the 54-room Commodore Perry Estate in Austin ranked No. 1 with a Q3 REVPAR of $402.

King Noodle

Move over, Mama Fu’s, make way for King Noodle.

The latter is renovating the space at 1230 N. Valley Mills Drive, the former home of Mama Fu’s Asian restaurant, looking for an opening. The local Associated General Contractors of America office reported that a permit had been issued.

In fact, this address is a retail strip where Mama Fu’s once operated before closing. King Noodle will take over the position left vacant when The Catch weighed anchor. It was once popular as a seafood restaurant.

Few details have emerged about plans for the operation bound for North Valley Mills Drive, but a Google search reveals several restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine with a King Noodle moniker, including in Killeen and Temple.

Gas prices

Rising gasoline prices come with the new year.

The AAA Texas Auto Club reported the state average for regular unleaded jumped 13 cents, to $2.75, in the week ending Thursday. Drivers in El Paso pay the most at $3.25 on average, while those in Corpus Christi pay the least at $2.60 a gallon, according to AAA.

Waco saw its average jump 18 cents to $2.69 a gallon during the test period, although some locations advertise prices closer to $3 a gallon.

“Prices per barrel of crude oil jumped from $70 to around $80 just a few days ago,” according to a press release from AAA Texas. “Other factors impacting fuel prices likely include the weekend cold snap which analysts say could temporarily impact fuel deliveries as well as refining operations. account, retailers set the final price of a gallon of gasoline.

“However, the uptrend may be short-lived as crude oil futures have been pointing lower in recent days on rising COVID cases in China. China is the largest importer of oil in the world.”

Gloomy real estate outlook

The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University released an article on its 2023 economic forecast for the state, and some forecasts paint a grim picture.

He says inflation is likely to remain high through 2023, that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates to “try to get inflation under control,” but that success won’t come “immediately and completely.”

“In the event of a recession, consumer prices would fall faster than otherwise due to a lack of consumer demand linked to a loss of consumer income,” according to the report.

Texas has more than recovered jobs lost during COVID-19, but job growth will moderate.

The center’s researchers also reported that the growth in home prices and single-family rental rates was “never sustainable and should have slowed even in the absence of other headwinds.” Prices and rental rates could “turn negative year on year”.

“Sales of existing homes will likely be weaker in 2023 than they were in 2022,” the report said. “High mortgage rates combined with high asking prices will slow sales even if price growth slows.”

Researchers expect oil to average between $80 and $100 a barrel over the coming year.

“The global response to Russia’s war on Ukraine will play a significant role in the path oil takes as well as any decision by OPEC,” the report said.

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