Students from The Collins College of Hospitality Management captured 2nd place in the 2019 Smith Travel Research (STR) Student Market Competition.
Twenty-five teams vied for the top prize at the event, which was held earlier this month during the HX: Hotel Experience (Trade) Show in New York City.
Emily Fedorchek ’22, Heather Kingsbury ’20, Devon Lilley ’21, Sean Mayor ’22, Marissa Robledo ’22, and Natalie Thé ’20 spent months researching and analyzing the Seattle hotel market before presenting their insights to industry judges.
The students found that Seattle has been a very dynamic hotel market with significant growth in both lodging supply and demand, from high-end boutique hotels to the new 1,260-room Hyatt Regency. Despite recent over-supply, the students concluded that Seattle hotels were still good investments because the recent negative trends would likely reverse.
Their positive assessment was based on an expanding convention center, the continued popularity of Seattle’s tourist attractions and cruise ship port, the continued growth of Amazon in downtown Seattle and into Bellevue, and the expected uptick when Boeing ramps-up airplane production in Renton. The team was especially bullish on the Bellevue sub-market.
“The students’ second-place win solidifies our position as one of the leading hospitality programs in the nation,” said Dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair Lea Dopson. “I couldn’t be prouder.”
This is the first time a team from The Collins College participated in the event. Associate Professor Linchi Kwok and Professor Margie Ferree Jones served as advisors. The team also received support from Hank Jones, Kallenberger Jones & Co.; Bruce Baltin, CBRE; Troy Jones, Ernst & Young; and Tiffany Jassel, Seaview Investors.
STR is the leading data analytics provider for the lodging industry. Since its debut in 2015, the STR Student Market Competition has received significant attention from hospitality programs around the world.