EVERETT — Shannon Myers turns a corner at the new Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Everett and shows off the riveted aluminum desk and chairs with the wall-sized photo of a cockpit.
“This has been a kind of Facebook favorite,” Myers said of the aeronautical-themed furnishings in the public area of the hotel’s second floor.
Myers is the general manager for the eight-story, 156-room hotel that opened in late October at 3003 Colby Ave.
The newest hotel in Everett has already seen a steady stream of locals touring the building, as well as a couple of sold-out nights even though its winter.
“We have definitely felt very welcomed from the community,” Myers said. “Everybody is very excited and we’ve been hearing from people that they’ve been waiting for something like this.”
By itself, the new hotel, with an empty corner space for a high-end restaurant, is a noteworthy addition to the heart of downtown.
It’s also part of larger trend — a wave of hotels being built across Snohomish County. Since 2010, five new hotels opened doors across the county.
At least another four hotels are slated to open by 2018 — a Red Lion Inn and Suites and a WoodSpring Suites in Everett, a Hilton Garden Inn in Lynnwood and Home2Suites by Hilton in Marysville.
Altogether, the boom will add more than 1,000 rooms to the county, pushing the county total from 5,400 rooms in 2010 to as much as 6,500 rooms by 2018.
That leads to the question: Is the market being oversaturated?
It’s easy to see why hotel companies are targeting Snohomish County.
Overall revenue for hotels in the county jumped from $102.8 million in 2010 to $161.2 million in 2015, according to Smith Travel Research, a Tennesseee-based firm which collects data from hotel companies across the country. That’s an increase of 56 percent in five years.
The past year has looked less promising.
Occupancy and revenue per room have been flat since 2015, according to the firm. With several new ones coming online, that could put a strain on existing hotels, said Amy Spain, executive director of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau.
“It does concern me that demand is flat and there are new hotels coming into the marketplace,” Spain said. “I hope that (the past year has been) a blip and next year we’ll be stronger.”
Smaller mom-and-pop hotels will be most at risk, said Julie Horrigan, president of the Snohomish County Lodging Association.
“It’s definitely worrisome for some of the older hotels that, without naming names, haven’t kept up,” Horrigan said.
The hotel market in Snohomish County relies on business travelers more than events or tourism, said Horrigan, director of sales for Residence Inn Seattle North/Lynnwood-Marriott.
“A lot of it will depend on what happens on Boeing,” Horrigan said. “If Boeing cuts back, we feel it immediately.”
Pressure is coming not just from new hotels in Snohomish County, but what’s being built from Seattle north, she said.
Hotels in the south county rely on overflow guests — people who can’t find a hotel in King County during the cruise ship season and during major conventions, she said. Those travelers will look to Bothell or Lynnwood.
She said that some hotels will find new uses. For instance, she said, some hotels may convert to condominiums or apartments.
“I’ve heard this term, ‘The ship will right itself at some point,’” she said.
The new hotels that are coming online in Everett are offering different amenities and price points that will appeal to different consumers, Snohomish County Tourism Bureau executive director Spain said.
“There’s demands for different kinds of cars,” Spain said. “There’s someone who’s looking for a Volkswagen and there’s someone who’s going to Merceds Benz.”
Hotels do appeal to different marketing segments, said Mark Beatty, the Washington State University hospitality program coordinator in Everett.
The Tulalip Resort & Casino will draw a different clientele than the new WoodSprings Suites in Everett, which is an extended-stay hotel.
There will be competitive pressures with all of the new hotels, but that makes it important for the county’s hotels to “band together and grow the pie,” Beatty said.
“We have a lot going for us up here in Snohomish County,” Beatty said. “If we work together, we’ll drive more market to us and work on filling those rooms.”
Myers, the Everett Courtyard by Marriott general manager, said that she’s planning to work with the former Holiday Inn Downtown Everett — long Everett’s biggest hotel with 243 rooms and 11,000-square-feet of meeting space.
The hotel is being remodeled into a sister brand, Delta Marriott, and plans to re-open this comng summer. The remodeled hotel that will attract events and could push overflow guests other hotels in the area, Myers said.
Myers, who has been in the hotel business for 22 years including 13 in the county, has seen bursts in hotel construction before.
She points to a growth in business in the community and the potential for a new commercial air traffic terminal at Paine Field.
“I’ve been through this over the years,” Myers said. “Somehow it just works, especially with the Paine Field airport looking like it’s a go. I just feel like there’s so much in the works, as far as development goes, that it makes sense and it’s definitely needed.”
Hotels on tap
Courtyard by Marriott: Everett, 8 stories, 156 rooms
Red Lion Inn and Suites: Everett, 3 stories, 45 rooms
WoodSprings Suites: Everett, 4 stories, 122 rooms
Home2Suites by Hilton: Marysville, 5 stories, 90 rooms
Hilton Garden Inn: Lynnwood, 6 stories, 150 rooms
Source: Snohomish County Tourism Bureau