COLUMBUS – Hotel business boomed throughout 2015 in Greater Columbus. According to Smith Travel Research (STR), all key performance indicators reached a record high at the end of 2015. Through the year, hotel occupancy increased 3 percent, the average daily rate (ADR) at Greater Columbus hotels grew 5.5 percent, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) rose 8.7 percent. In addition,  bed tax collections were up 10.4 percent.

According to a Smith Travel Research Report, from January 1 to December 31, 2015:



% change

Average in competitive set





Average Daily Rate









* RevPAR is a hotel industry performance metric, which is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate

“2015 was a tremendous year for our hotel industry,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “And, we’re proud of the record-breaking figures citywide and downtown. The future looks bright. This year, we are excited for Port Columbus to finish its modernization initiative and the Greater Columbus Convention Center to progress in its renovation and branding project. Looking ahead, we’re setting big goals collaboratively with the community that include aggressively increasing the number of national conventions and sporting events in Columbus and raising the national awareness of all our city offers.”

At downtown hotels in 2015, occupancy was at 70.3 percent, a 6.3 percent increase, average daily rate was $136.17, a 5.6 percent increase and RevPAR was $95.72, a 12.3 percent increase.

“The Greater Columbus Sports Commission had its most successful year in generating hotel room nights through both bidding on and hosting events,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. “The NHL All-Star Weekend, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships and NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series made 2015 a landmark year for sports in Columbus. We look forward to the opportunity to have another strong year in 2016.”

During the fourth quarter of 2015, Columbus hosted a total of 126 conventions, sporting events and groups, including seven city-wide events, those with 750 rooms or more on peak. The Ohio School Board Association welcomed 9,500 attendees; Association for Middle Level Education drew 5,000 attendees for their national annual meeting; Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) brought in 3,000 visitors; and the American Association of School Librarians hosted 3,500 for their 2015 National Conference and Exhibition.

Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business during the fourth quarter accounting for 154,113 room nights. Large groups include the 2017 USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships, 2018 Arnold Sports Festival, African Methodist Episcopal Church 2019 AME Women's Missionary Society Quadrennial & Young People's Convention, United States Institute for Theatre Technology 2021 Annual Conference & Stage Expo and AmericanHort’s 2019 Cultivate.

As a result of the increase in daily rates, hotel/motel bed tax collections increased 10.4 percent YTD or $4 million as of December 31, with collections totaling a record $42.6 million, according to reports from the Office of City of Columbus Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian. These funds support not only Experience Columbus, but also cultural and arts programs, social services, affordable housing programs and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority.


Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending that is generated by conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure visitors.  Annually, visitors make more than 37.9 million trips to Greater Columbus, directly spending $5.7 billion, which generates $8.7 billion in economic impact and supports more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit