Local Data Proves Best Again – Trip Generation at Hotels

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc.

A key initiative of Mike on Traffic and Spack Consulting is to actively share our traffic engineering data and knowledge with others in the transportation industry. Over the last several years we have shared our local trip generation data through TripGeneration.org and provided updated trip generation data several times each year. In many cases, gathering this trip generation data is an outgrowth of our own traffic studies. As we have written about before, we think capturing up-to-date, local data improves the accuracy of our studies.

Recently, we have had several traffic studies that have involved hotels. Currently, the ITE Manual has five categories related to hotels:

  • Hotel, #310
  • All Suites Hotel, #311
  • Business Hotel, #312
  • Motel, #320
  • Resort Hotel, #330

While some of our data might be categorized under ITE Code 310, a generic hotel, most could very easily be classified as a new type of hotel. Here’s the basics of the hotel data we collected.

Typical Suburban Hotel with Free Parking Lot

Per the description, these hotels are located in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are generally adjacent to a freeway, airport or large office complex. All sites provide free parking for their guests and employees. As an added twist, one site was located adjacent to a light rail train stop. So, in addition to counting vehicles, we also collected the number of pedestrians crossing between the light rail station and the hotel.

Downtown City Hotel with Valet Parking Service

Vehicle trip data collected at hotels in downtown Minneapolis. Of the three sites where data was collected, two of hotels had valet only parking and one hotel offered valet parking in addition to guest spaces provided in a nearby lot available for a fee.

Extended Stay Suburban Hotel with Free Parking Lot

Extended stay hotels cater to guests that stay for weeks or months at a time. These sites are also known as an apartment hotel or residential hotel. It’s like renting an apartment, but without fixed contracts.

What We Found

As mentioned, this data was collected to improve the accuracy of our traffic studies. So did it? In years past, we might have used the ITE Manual as the sole source of trip generation. The following chart shows a basic comparison of the weighted daily rate of trips per hotel room (total rooms, not occupied).

As can be seen, all the rates are below those of ITE and vary significantly between the types. This comparison shows the significant differences between various types of hotels. It also confirms our belief in local, recent trip generation data as a better way to estimate traffic for new developments.

Want to see more? Our latest trip generation data includes 35 full days of traffic data collected at hotels as well as thousands of hours from other land uses. You can get the full data set at www.TripGeneration.org.

Have you collected traffic data for hotels? We would like to hear from you! We are looking at expanding our research for this land use and are looking for others interested in collecting data from their region. Email us if you are interested in working with us to collect data.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Local Data Proves Best Again – Trip Generation at Hotels

  1. Thank you for the information. A few questions.

    What days of the week were the surveys conducted?

    What were the occupancy rates of the hotels, since you are providing rates per room?

    Are the rates you found similar for business versus tourist hotels?

    For the downtown hotels, did the trip rates include drop off/ pick up by taxis or airport shuttles?

    Thank you

    • Hi Mark,
      We conducted trip generation counts on standard weekdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with different days collected for different hotels. The data in this post is concerning the weekday data, but the remaining data can be found in the full trip generation spreadsheet at tripgeneration.org.
      We do not have the occupancy rates of the hotels for these locations.
      We only have weekday data at the extended stay hotels and comparing that data shows the average rate of trip per room is slightly lower than a standard suburban hotel and slightly higher than the downtown hotels.
      The downtown hotels did include taxis and shuttles.

  2. Do you have any stats on the occupancy expected rates for hotels on Airport properties?

    In other words, if a hotel is attached to a terminal, and the terminal has 10 million passengers per year, is there an expect rate/ration that can be estimated, if one were to build say a 300 room hotel?

    Or, is there a ratio that would lead one to say “@ 10 million terminal passengers, 200 rooms, or 400 rooms could be supported?”