Bakersfield’s hospitality sector continues to be a bright spot for local government. Revenue from the city of Bakersfield’s hotel tax, officially known as the Transient Occupancy Tax or TOT, reached its highest level ever in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017 — nearly $9.58 million (see chart). Within the city of Bakersfield, the TOT rate is 12 percent of the cost of a hotel room night.
Looking at data from STR Inc., hotel rates, known in the industry as average daily rate or ADR, remained flat in 2017 compared with 2016. However, the number of room nights sold increased more than 5 percent over 2016, meaning more people are staying in Bakersfield hotels.
This increased demand for Bakersfield hotel rooms has not gone unnoticed by hotel owners and investors. New hotel rooms are under construction and several existing properties are undergoing renovations. Work continues on the new Hyatt Place on Coffee Road. When completed later this year, this four-story hotel will offer 118 rooms and be the first Hyatt-branded property in Bakersfield.
Homewood Suites on Mill Rock Way is one of several Bakersfield hotels to undergo renovation and improvements this year. The ongoing exterior renovation will complete a new lodge look, including a new patio and kitchen lounge area.
Bakersfield’s largest hotel, the 262-room DoubleTree by Hilton on Camino del Rio Court, will update all of its guest rooms, meeting spaces and public areas to a more modern and stylish decor this year. The total investment will be more than $10 million.
Next door, the Hotel Rosedale will be making cosmetic upgrades by replacing carpets, installing new floor boards, and painting walls and ceilings. In addition, its meeting rooms and ballrooms will be renovated and modernized.
Across Rosedale Highway, the former Clarion Hotel has been temporarily renamed The Loft as it undergoes renovations and improvements to be upgraded and rebranded as a Fairfield Inn and Suites later this year.
Another rebranding and upgrade is being finalized as the former Garden Inn and Suites on Wible Road becomes a Country Inn and Suites by Radisson. This $2 million renovation includes upgrades throughout the hotel, along with the installation of new technology to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. These additions include solar panels, LED lights, a temperature control system to reduce energy consumption and charging stations for hybrid cars.
David Lyman, Ph.D., is manager of Visit Bakersfield. He and other members of Team More to Explore help visitors spend their money in California’s ninth largest city. They are available toll-free at 866-425-7353 or at Info@VisitBakersfield.com.