The Colorado Springs hotel industry began the tourism season with another big month in May, reaching the highest occupancy rate for the month in 20 years and the average room rate jumped the most in nearly 12 years.
The percentage of rooms filled last month increased to 75.6 percent from 72.2 percent in May 2016, the highest for any May since the occupancy rate reached 78.9 percent in May 1997 and the third highest since 1990, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.
The occupancy rate for the first five months of the year rose to 63.4 percent from 61.2 percent during the same period a year ago.
The average room rate in May surged 14 percent to $118.69, the biggest percentage increase since the average soared 14.7 percent to $88.44 in August 2005. The average for the first five months of the year is up 8.3 percent from the same period in 2016 to $103.20 with similar gains by both limited- and full-service hotels.
"Hotels are managing demand in a good way with increase in both occupancy and room rates as evidenced by the strong room rate increase last month," said Doug Price, CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Hotels are seeing very strong short-term demand - selling out with call-in or walk-in guests, which are both a good sign of more people traveling here and the results of investments that have been made at the airport. Many local hotels are sold out all of this week. We are in the window through mid-July when attractions, hotels are restaurants are maximizing revenue."
Statewide hotel occupancy also was up in May, to 72 percent from 68.1 percent in May 2016 and is up for the first five months of the year to 65.6 percent from 64.5 percent during the same period last year.
The state's average room rate in May increased 3.2 percent from May 2016 to $140.70 and for the first five months of the year is up 2.7 percent from the same period a year ago to $154.90.
The Colorado Springs numbers don't include The Broadmoor hotel or Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which are listed in the "other resorts" category with Colorado's major ski areas. The Great Wolf Lodge is not included in the report.
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