The U.S lodging industry will pour $3 billion into renovation projects next year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hospitality & Leisure Practice. This spending surge is expected to match 1998 levels for capital expenditures.

"We expect to see the increased expenditures over 2003 levels in guestrooms, public spaces, function rooms and relationship management systems, and these are all more ‘guest facing’ than the allocations in 2000," says Bjorn Hanson, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global leader for the hospitality and leisure practice.

Among the expenditures that PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts are improved beds and bedding, high-speed internet access, enhanced public space décor and better signage. These expenditures are not expected to be market-driven, however.

After record total growth between 1993 and 2000, the lodging industry was in the lucrative position of having already made sizeable capital investments in their physical assets prior to the 2001 slump. In fact, 2001 and 2002 capital expenditures represented some of the largest dollar reductions in expense and expenditure categories.