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2020 YE Hospitality South Carolina Report

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2021 will see stabilization and improvement

Key Takeaways

  • With the availability of the new COVID-19 vaccine, occupancy and revenue per available room (REVPAR) is anticipated to increase. 
  • The passage of the COVID-19 Relief Bill at the end of 2020 should provide financial stabilization to hotel properties. 
  • There will be a tourism boom beginning in the fall of 2021 as the vaccine is fully deployed and households begin spending their savings.
  • With the improvement of market fundamentals, transactional volumes should increase over the next year.

South Carolina Market Overview

The hotel sector was negatively impacted across the nation in 2020. Occupancy dropped to nearly 20% in April, recovered to 50% and slowly fell back to 40% as the number of cases surged in November and December.  In South Carolina, occupancy dropped to about 50%, the average daily rate (ADR) was reduced by 17% and revenue per available room was halved. Geographically, results varied substantially. Drive-to markets like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and Charleston outperformed similar fly-to markets. Similarly, economy and mid-scale properties with fewer amenities and limited convention and meeting space performed better. 

Operationally, the hotel industry was one of the most adversely impacted over 2020. There were two pieces of legislation passed in 2020, the CARES Act and the COVID-19 Relief Bill to address this. Both provided funds to small businesses in various forms to offset the negative impact of government shutdowns and reduced economic activity. Each materially impacted the hotel industry with low interest and forgivable loans. However, the health of hoteliers varied substantially depending on the mix of properties and rooms within their portfolios and their relative financial position prior to the pandemic. Operators whose mix of income was dominated by upscale, upper upscale and luxury properties lost the most business and had the largest ongoing expenses to continue to operate. Conversely, operators whose income was generated by economy, midscale and upper midscale properties fared much better with lower operational costs and greater occupancy levels.  

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2020 YE Hospitality South Carolina Report

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Related Experts

Helen Zaver

Senior Vice President


Helen Zaver is part of the National Hospitality Group at Colliers International and is based in the firm’s Atlanta office.

She originally joined Marcus & Millichap in early 2005 as the Hotel Specialist for the Southeastern Region and had been there until 2019.  With an extensive background in ownership, management, sales and marketing of hotel properties, she is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) as well as a Certified Hotel Owner (CHO), and understands the needs of both hotel buyers and sellers. Having over 20 years of hotel experience in the Southeast, she has achieved recognition throughout the hotel industry. Helen is experienced in Franchise Negotiations, Financing, Re-Branding, and Marketing from start-up properties as well as turn-around investments.  Some of these clients include large private and public REITS, Management Companies, Lenders and Servicers as well as Owner/Operators of hotel properties throughout the United States. 

Currently transitioned to Colliers International, the team utilizes the platform to better serve clients and their goals. Zaver Hotels has closed on more than $300 million of hotel transactions over the last few years.

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Alia Bostaji

Brokerage Associate


I specialize in the purchase and sale of hotels and hospitality properties. My responsibilities include representing owners and users in the sale and leasing of a variety of properties. Ever responsive to my clients’ needs, I assist them with their acquisition, disposition and leasing needs. I am a big believer in the power of networking and relationships, connecting my clients with opportunities inside and outside of South Carolina.

I am a member of the Colliers National Hospitality Group, specializing in franchise negotiations, financing, rebranding and marketing from startup properties as well as turn-around investments. Some of these clients include large private and public REITs, management companies, lenders and services and owners/operators of hotel properties throughout the United States. 

My previous experience as a female business owner and supporter of business development gives me unique insights into the needs of owners, investors and users, helping me to translate their needs into smart commercial real estate decisions. It has also taught me the value of the boots-on-the-ground approach. I believe in knowing my market by being in it day after day. As a woman who speaks three languages, I am a believer in serving clients who have not traditionally engaged with commercial real estate or who have larger international real estate goals.

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