In our Oyster Stats series, we’re sharing surprising tidbits on a range of topics using data we’ve accumulated from our hotel coverage and site traffic. Our goal is not to provide scientific data but to provide interesting directional insights about travel trends.
If you think you're a smart shopper, you may have to think again. Because according to our research, some states are getting a lot more bang for their buck when it comes to hotels -- and the results are pretty surprising.
Essentially, people from certain states are doing a better job of finding the lowest price possible for the highest pearl rating possible, guaranteeing a more luxurious stay at a smaller cost. Others, however, are not so savvy. Shelling out more money for a hotel with a lower pearl rating, these shoppers get a lot less pearl per dollar than their compatriots across state lines. Just check out how the numbers break down:
Finding: Gambling Sometimes Does Pay Off
The great state of Nevada is home to the best shoppers in the country, at least according to Oyster's findings. Followed closely by Utah and Arizona, the home of Sin City wins big when it comes to hotels. We found that our users in these states spend more time viewing upscale properties with (comparatively) low price tags, meaning that they get more luxury per dollar than most hotel shoppers. Nevadans view hotels that cost, on average per night, $58 per pearl. Compared to their fellows in Connecticut, Maine, and New York (who all pay upwards of $86 per pearl), this is quite the steal.
Nevadans might have access to some of the country's best casinos -- and, according to this study, one out of five residents visit the casinos weekly -- but that doesn't mean they are willing to squander money when it comes to hotels. Maybe they learned a thing or two from watching all of that sin take place in their own backyards: Hold on to your chips (and your bikini tops).
Also -- interestingly enough -- Nevada, Utah, and Arizona are among the states with the lowest cost of living, according to MERIC. Individuals in these states may then be accustomed to lower rates and thus scoff at outrageously priced hotels, or they may be more likely to book hotels in their own area. For example, a five-pearl property in Utah will be a lot less expensive to maintain than a five-pearl property in Manhattan, and that is reflected in the room rates.
Finding: Street Smarts ≠ Smarter Shoppers
For all their talk, New Yorkers might have to lower their street cred a bit after this. [Ed. Note: We say this regrettably as we look out over Sixth Ave.] As our research shows, a significant percentage of Oyster.com viewers residing in New York, Maine, and Connecticut are the worst hotel shoppers in the country. More often viewing hotels with stark differentiations between cost and pearl-level, shoppers in these states are getting a lot less bang for their buck. New Yorkers pay an average of $89 per pearl per night — that's an almost 50% increase in price per pearl than Nevadans pay.
Granted, if New Yorkers are viewing hotels in their own state, they might be running into the natural price hike that arises in the Big Apple. After all, NYC boasts some of the smallest hotel rooms in the nation (and some of the tiniest apartments), but that doesn't mean hoteliers (or landlords) are lowering their price tags. In fact, the city consistently has the highest cost of living in the country.
Coming in as the second and third worst hotel shoppers in the country -- both paying per night an average of $86 per pearl -- are Maine and Connecticut residents. Connecticut is the fourth richest state in the Union and is home to one of the priciest housing markets in America, however, so maybe the price tag isn't so much of a factor for the denizens of the Nutmeg State. But hey, it's worth making sure you aren't just throwing your money away, right?