Record-setting attendance at the Space Symposium last month fueled a record-setting April for the Colorado Springs hotel industry with the occupancy rate rising to 74.5 percent, the highest occupancy for April since at least 1990, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.
Last month's occupancy rate eclipsed the previous record for April of 73.4 percent set in 1996 and was up from 70.4 percent in April 2017, when attendance at the four-day conference at The Broadmoor surged to a record 14,000. The occupancy rate for local hotels has increased for six consecutive months after declining for five months in a row between June and October. The occupancy rate for the first four months of the year increased to 63.3 percent from 60.3 percent during the same period last year with both full-service and limited-service hotels posting gains.
"The attendance at this year's symposium was a record and with that kind of demand hotels were able to maximize their rates," said Doug Price, CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation, which hosts the symposium, said it tracked 7,200 room-nights (one room booked one night) for 14,000 participants at the four-day event. The hotel room numbers only include blocks of rooms reserved through the foundation.
While The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the report's Colorado Springs numbers, the symposium fills hotels throughout the city. Both resorts are included with many of the state's ski areas in the "other resorts" category, which is down from a year ago as a result of a dry winter.
The average room rate for local hotels rose 5.7 percent to $112.05, the biggest percentage increase since a 9.1 percent rise in November. The average rate for the first four months of the year is up 3.9 percent from the same period a year ago, to $101.93, with full- and limited-service hotels reporting gains.
The local occupancy rate is likely to drop later this year as the seven hotels now under construction open - the first, the 100-room Best Western Plus Fillmore Inn/Executive Residency, opened last week northwest of Interstate 25 and Fillmore Street, and will be followed next month by a 64-room My Place Hotel northwest of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard. The other five hotels are scheduled to open in the next 10 months with 515 rooms, and they could be followed by up to 13 more that are in various stages of planning and development.
Statewide hotel occupancy in April rose for the first time since November after declines in December, January and March and remaining unchanged in February. The 65.9 percent rate was up from 63.6 percent in April 2017. Occupancy for the first four months of the year remains unchanged from a year ago at 64 percent. The average statewide room rate in April rose 2.5 percent, to $136.47, the first monthly increase since January and the biggest monthly gain since November. The average for the first four months of the year is up 91 cents, or 0.6 percent, from a year ago to $159.90.
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