Cincinnati is located on the southeastern Ohio border along the Ohio River. The metropolitan area encompasses a three-state region, including parts of Indiana and Kentucky. Top firms in Cincinnati represent key industries, such as aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, brand design, creative services, chemistry, financial services, IT services, and consumer goods. Together, these sectors have helped fortify the city’s economic position in recent years, allowing the city to be somewhat buffered from the major fluctuations that other cities experienced during the recession. The city has been successful at not only retaining area businesses, but also at attracting new establishments. The area’s low cost of living, aggressive development incentives, and excellent accessibility via multiple transportation routes have brought national recognition to the MSA. Furthermore, the greater Cincinnati area ranks in the top ten for the number of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies per million residents, which is a positive reflection of the region's strong economy and the city's high quality of living. Greater Cincinnati is home to headquarters for eight Fortune 500 companies, with the most prominent being Kroger, Macy's, and Procter & Gamble.
Cincinnati is experiencing record occupancy and average rate (ADR) levels, bolstered by the strong commercial, convention, and tourism sectors downtown. Improvements in the economy and the increase in public and private investments have led to continued growth in hotel demand, with positive RevPAR growth year-over-year since 2012. In 2017, General Electric completed the employment ramp-up of its downtown Global Operations Center, adding over 1,000 permanent jobs to the CBD. Furthermore, leisure demand continues to bolster occupancy in the region, highlighted by major events such as Zinzinnati Oktoberfest and BLINK.
The market area, which had relatively little new supply open in the five years prior, absorbed several new hotels from 2014 through 2018, including a Renaissance hotel in 2014 and a dual-branded Homewood Suites/Hampton by Hilton in 2015. In 2016, a Holiday Inn & Suites opened in Downtown Cincinnati, while the Hotel Covington opened in Downtown Covington, Kentucky, and a Hampton Inn & Suites opened in Newport, Kentucky. Since January 2017, over 1,300 rooms have been added to the greater market, highlighted by the 171-room AC Hotel by Marriott at the Banks in October 2017 and the 202-room Dolce by Wyndham The Summit in April 2018. Supply growth shows no signs of slowing down, with hotels in the development pipeline in Northern Kentucky, the CBD, Uptown, and in the northern suburbs like Mason, Montgomery, and Blue Ash.
Twelve hotels totaling approximately $128 million in transaction volume have sold since January 2017, averaging just under $92,000 per room. Notable transactions included The Cincinnatian Hotel (highest price per room at $157,534) and the Embassy Suites Cincinnati River Center Covington (highest total price paid $34,074,524, or $150,108 per room).