Leaders of the companies that renovated the former Eastland hotel in downtown Portland told the Wall Street Journal they’re projecting $1.2 million in revenue from the hotel’s penthouse bar and restaurant this year, doubling what the bar brought in annually under its previous operator. The new owners of the Westin Portland Harborview hotel had also doubled the bar’s size as part of a $50 million renovation of the hotel built in 1927.
Gerry Chase, president of New Castle Hotels and Resorts, which bought the hotel with Rockbridge Capital in 2011, told the newspaper that food-and-beverage sales at the hotel — which has another restaurant downstairs and also hosts events and conferences — are expected to make up nearly half of its overall revenue.
Chase told the paper that the bar and restaurant brought in sales of $130,000 in April, a month that in past years had revenue of $15,000 or less.
On bookings, Chase and Rockbridge officials told the paper occupancy has averaged about 60 percent since reopening in December, hitting nearly full occupancy in mid-July, at 95 percent.
The Westin is one of many hotels to add open rooms to the city’s downtown this year. In April, developers of those projects told the BDN they were confident the market would be able to absorb the addition of 460 new rooms in the city’s downtown. Greg Dugal, head of the Maine Innkeepers Association, told the WSJ that means a 21 percent increase in the number of hotel rooms in the city, to 2,649, with additions this year and next year. That includes 90 rooms the Westin added when it reopened. It previously had 200 rooms.
For now, it looks like that was a good decision. The paper reported average daily rates hit a high for June of $120.19 in Portland, according to data from STR Inc.
As for the Westin, room rates range from $200 to $401 for Wednesday night, according to a quick search. This weekend, however, you’ll have to look elsewhere. They’re all booked.