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Residential Bust, Hotel Boom: The Intercontinental

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Even as we're obsessed with all the high-rise condos coming online, we're guessing that the people tasked with filling them may well be indulging in some fingernail biting: those buildings took a lot of dough to construct, loans are harder to come by these days, and many of those who can qualify seem to be headed for cheaper pastures. Consider this, though: conferences, conventions (think: Oracle Open World) , and good old-fashioned tourism still spur huge and growing demand for hotel rooms, and thus construction, in San Francisco. Throughout California, in fact, construction starts (in terms of dollars) grew almost 40% in the past two years; another 13% growth is expected this year statewide.

Enter the $195 million InterContinental, at 888 Howard, next to Moscone West. The hotel is already taking reservations for February and beyond. With its prime location and the city's growing visitor numbers, it could prove to be the happiest new high-rise in town come next year. Indeed, the city's convention & visitors bureau expects an estimated 626,000 convention center attendees to use about 926,000 hotel room nights. And hotel occupancy citywide continues to grow, despite increased nightly charges. Since visitors staying in hotels account for more than $2 out of every $3 visitor dollars spent in town . . . let's just say that City Hall is happy too.
· Hotels on the Rise [California Construction]
· 888 Howard St [Intercontinental Hotels]
· San Francisco Hotel Occupancy Rate [PDF via the Convention & Visitors Bureau]

[Image courtesy Intercontinental Hotel Groups]