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Colorado Springs hotel occupancy dips in March

Published: April 21, 2014, 5:37 pm, by Wayne Heilman

Colorado Springs area hotels continued to struggle in March to bounce back from wildfires that struck the area during each of the past two summers, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

The occupancy rate for local hotels fell less than 1 percent to 52 percent in March from 52.9 percent in March 2013, the third time in the past four months that occupancy has declined from the same month a year earlier. Occupancy rates have fallen in 14 of the 21 months since the Waldo Canyon fire killed two people, destroyed nearly 350 homes and burned more than 18,000 acres in June 2012. February’s rate rose to 52.6 percent from 48 percent a year earlier, the biggest percentage gain in nearly three years.

Despite lower occupancy, the average room rate rose 2.6 percent from March 3013 to $83.55. The average room rate has risen from the same month a year earlier in every month since March 2013 except for January, when the average fell 4.4 percent.

The occupancy rate for the first quarter is edged up to 49.2 percent from 49.1 percent during the same period last year as a result of occupancy gain in limited-service hotels offsetting declines at full-service properties. The occupancy rate for limited service hotels rose to 48.3 percent in the first quarter from 45.4 percent a year ago, while occupancy in full-service hotels, which include restaurants and meeting space, fell to 49.6 percent from 51 percent during the first quarter of 2013.

The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the totals for the Springs area, but are part of a separate category, “other resorts,” with many of the state’s ski areas. The occupancy rate for that category in March was 65 percent, while the average room rate was $263.83.

Statewide, hotel occupancy in March rose to 70.6 percent from 61.8 percent in March 2013 with the average room rate increasing 4,7 percent to $147.30. Hotel occupancy across the state in the first quarter was up 64.8 percent from 58.8 percent during the same period in 2013. The average room rate for the first quarter was up 3.6 percent from a year ago to $146.03.