Charlotte’s Hospitality Revenues for 2018
are BEST ever
For nearly a decade, Charlotte region’s Hospitality
and Tourism Business has been experiencing phenomenal
growth with each year’s revenues exceeding the previous
We can now proudly say that we achieved our goal of
having the best revenues ever for 2018, as the actual
revenues recently reported by the Mecklenburg
County for the fiscal year of 2018 (July 2017 - June
2018) indicate this fantastic achievement.
Let’s look at some of these hospitality revenues and
figures for 2018 in Mecklenburg County:
• 6.78 Million rooms sold, up 3.0% from FY17
• 70.5% occupancy, down 1.4% from FY17
(due to increased number of hotels)
• $782.5 Million in hotel revenue, up 6.6% from
• $115.41 ADR, up 3.5% from FY17
• $62.6 Million in occupancy tax revenues (8%
• $3.5 Billion in food and beverage revenues,
up 7% from FY17
• $35 Million in food and beverage tax revenues
(1% gross), up 7% from FY17
Let’s take a look at some of the catalysts which were
responsible for this growth during the past year:
• Our magnificent Charlotte Douglas International
Airport (6th busiest in the world) is soaring
with a new $2.5 Billion expansion driven by its status
as the second largest hub for the largest airline in
the world (American Airlines).
• Corporate travel business, corporate relocations and
construction of massive new office space are at an all-time
high. 60% of hotel business in our region is corporate
• Repealing HB2 enabled our hospitality industry to
reclaim major lost sporting events such as the NBA All
Star (2019), ACC Football Championship games (2017-2030),
NCAA events and more importantly, retain many other
major events and conventions which could have been lost.
• We worked relentlessly for more than a decade to change
North Carolina laws to allow the sale of alcohol before
noon on Sundays, the “Brunch Bill”,
passed last year to allow the sale of alcohol by 10AM
on Sundays and has been a huge boost for food and beverage
revenues here and across North Carolina.
• Charlotte Convention Center
is experiencing its best years ever, gearing up for
• Charlotte was a shining star in hosting one of the
most prestigious and largest events in the world when
it hosted the 2017 PGA Championship at
the Quail Hollow Golf Club from August 7-13th. Charlotte
and Quail Hollow Golf Club also hosted the magnificent
Wells Fargo Championship from April
30th-May 6, 2018. Let the journey begin to bring the
2024 PGA Championship to Charlotte.
• With the 2017 Bank of America 500 Race, 2018
NASCAR All Star Race, and the 2018
Coca Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted
hundreds of thousands of visitors for 3 of the best
mega NASCAR events.
• We welcomed back the fantastic 2017 ACC Football
Championship, the 2017 Belk Bowl,
and the 2018 NCAA Regional Basketball Games,
and had one of the best years for the remarkable CIAA
Tournament in February of 2018. We also had
a cause for more celebration as the ACC
(Atlantic Coast Conference) committed to hold their
annual college football champion games in Charlotte
(Bank of America Stadium) through 2030.
• More determined than ever to upgrade Charlotte region’s
status as a fantastic place for all sporting
events and tournaments, we are going through
rapid openings, renovations and additions of demand
driven sporting venues for both professional and amateur
• Our fantastic collection of first class hotel accommodations,
dining and entertainment, arts, museums, attractions,
parks and shopping are going through vast addition,
expansion and upgrades.
• Our fantastic light rail system,
which has been a mega economic development catalyst,
doubled in size and impact when the extension to UNC
Charlotte opened in March.
• As a top destination for young professionals and college
graduates to move to, our “cool city USA” is rapidly
enhancing its status with visitors and millennial friendly
In addition to many of the above catalysts and our
vastly improved hospitality assets, add the return of
the fabulous International Soccer games to Charlotte
(Liver Pool vs Borussia Dortmund on July 22nd),
the upcoming 2019 NBA All Star Event,
and the 2019 ACC & CIAA Basketball Tournaments
at the Spectrum Center and you realize that the future
is extremely bright for our industry.
Of course, let’s not forget the challenging, but awesome
victory of securing the 2020 RNC for
Charlotte. This means we have less than two years to
prepare our region for one of the biggest and
most visible events on the planet and we all
need to pitch in to make the 2020 RNC a huge
I am truly honored by the enormous involvement of the
Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance’s
members and know that their voices made a huge difference
to gain the slim 6-5 approval from the City Council
required the secure the convention. The significance
of this massive convention for the Charlotte
area’s hospitality business, your business and our region’s
economy will absolutely be huge.
Getting this mega convention for Charlotte means:
• We began receiving global exposure immediately following
the announcement on Friday, July 20th and will continue
to receive the valuable coverage until the conclusion
of the convention.
• We started receiving tons of business from different
government and private business groups that are involved
with convention preparations and security measures for
the next two plus years.
• The convention will obviously be a mega business and
job generator for hundreds of businesses (including
the hospitality industry) in the Greater Charlotte area
during the time that it is held here. The convention
will draw approximately 100,000 people to our region
for nearly a week.
• As we experienced with the 2012 DNC, many national
and global business decision makers will have their
first opportunity to experience our vibrant region for
a period of time. This opportunity, alone, will be the
biggest catalyst for our community to attract more business
relocations and expansions for many years to come. The
2012 DNC was a major catalyst for the economic growth
and prosperity of our region for the past few years.
I hope that you have your strategies in place to take
advantage of this once in a lifetime business opportunity.
We are ready to do what it takes to make sure our HTA
members have plenty of opportunities to benefit from
this event and have already embarked upon the massive
work that is ahead of us to make Charlotte shine in
hosting this event.
Finally, North Carolina is a welcoming state for more
than 50 million visitors annually.
Tourism generated visitors’ spending in our State exceeds
$23.9 billion a year fueling growth
throughout communities in North Carolina (NC).
The following are the top five counties in NC with
the most generated economic impact from the hospitality
and tourism business:
1. Mecklenburg County at $5.38 billion
2. Wake County at $2.26 billion
3. Guilford County at $1.40 billion
4. Buncombe County at $1.14 billion
5. Dare County at $1.13 billion
We are proud of our Charlotte area’s nearly $7
billion hospitality industry and it’s over
100,000 employees in the region. We have come a long
way during the past two decades and are committed to
work harder than ever to help with continued growth
of our prosperous business.
A lot has happened over the past 25 years with our region’s
Hospitality Industry and many have done their part to
help its remarkable growth, but I am so proud of the
vital role that the HTA has had to
make this growth possible. For that, I am grateful for
the leaders of the HTA, thankful to our unbelievably
passionate and active membership of over 800 businesses,
and our elected and civic partners.
2018 was by far the best
ever for the Hospitality revenues in Charlotte. While
our industry’s growth has been phenomenal due to our
proactive actions and investment over the years, I know
that the best is yet to come with the committed leadership
and partnerships that our industry has in the Greater
To you wonderful members of the HTA, I am truly honored
and grateful for each of you for giving me the privilege
of being an avid and relentless advocate for your business
for the past 25 years. I cherish you and am more determined
than ever to help with growing your business.
For membership information, please contact Carson
Emily McMillan at (704) 331-0079 or Carson@CharlotteHTA.com