Hilton Worldwide saw its occupancy rate in the Americas rise 2.9 percentage points to 79.7% in the third quarter, and a chunk of that was generated by filling rooms on weekends.

CEO Christopher Nassetta told analysts during the company’s third quarter earnings call today that the chain is getting “much better” at driving demand on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, adding that this leads to incremental profits when Hilton Worldwide can fill those rooms with leisure travelers at reasonable rates.

“I think this is the new norm,” Nassetta said, adding that Hilton Worldwide’s market share on weekends has been increasing.

“Next year there is more to do about being intelligent on weekends and off-peak times and how we revenue-manage,” Nassetta said.

Systemwide, Hilton Worldwide’s occupancy rate in the third quarter increased 3.1 percentage points to 79%.

Occupany rates rose globally during the third quarter at every Hilton Worldwide brand, including Waldorf (0.4 percentage points), Conrad (6.8), Hilton (2.8), DoubleTree (2.8), Embassy Suites (1.8), Hilton Garden Inn (3.5) and Home2 Suites (7.1).

The Waldorf Astoria New York Deal

In other news, Nassetta said he’s confident that Hilton Worldwide’s nearly $2 billion sale of the Waldorf Astoria New York to Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group will close on schedule before the end of 2014 despite security concerns raised by the U.S. government.

The property is slated to undergo an extensive renovation under the new owner and that raised eavesdropping issues because for years the Waldorf Astoria New York has housed the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Nassetta said Hilton Worldwide approached the U.S. government “unilaterally” as part of the Waldorf Astoria New York deal. He said the hotel chain and the U.S. government have been conducting “informal discussions” about the matter and he’s confident the transaction will close on time.

Photo Credit: Hilton Worldwide has been busy filling rooms on the weekends, although not necessarily in the Conrad Indianapolis' presidential suite. Hilton Worldwide