As packed venues at A60, Jimmy, and Le Bain have proven, rooftop bars were the year’s top hotel trend, according to a new report released by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. It covered a number of aspects of the New York City hotel scene, but the rooftop bar was by far the most dominant new trend. Pioneered by boutique properties but recently embraced by bigger chains, it’s not hard to see why. a good rooftop space can bring in up to $120 per square foot in peak months, translating to profits up to 50%.
There are a few factors that make these bars successful, including a large enough space (the flat, pre-war rooftops of New York buildings are the perfect setting) and a killer view, of which New York City has many. And in a city where other kinds of development and additions are curtailed, it’s a logical way to expand as well as offer something of value to your customers. And the trend is spreading: “The concept has caught on in other U.S. gateway markets like Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC and Los Angeles, as well as international hubs,” says Amelia Lim, Executive Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.