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November brings improvement in Colorado Springs' hotel occupancy rate

By: WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com
January 3, 2014 Updated: January 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm
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photo - Guests arrive at the Hotel Elegante. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Guests arrive at the Hotel Elegante. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Hotel occupancy in the Colorado Springs area recovered in November after plunging in October amid the federal government shutdown, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

The occupancy rate for local hotels rose to 48.9 percent in November, up 4.4 percentage points from a year earlier. It marked the biggest year-to-year gain since October 2012, when a $200,000 advertising campaign was in place to attract visitors in the wake of the Waldo Canyon fire four months earlier.

The average room rate for November was up 4.3 percent from a year ago to $84.42.

Although the hotel rate for October was 56.6 percent - better than the November rate - it was a drop of 6.9 percentage points from a year earlier and was the lowest rate for any October since at least 1990.

Chelsy Murphy, director of communications for the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Friday that local hotels were hit hard by the federal government shutdown because of the area's multiple military facilities.

"Colorado Springs is a major destination for travelers with the federal government. The government shutdown made a difference in October and some of the business in November may have been delayed from October, just as meetings scheduled during the Waldo Canyon fire were rescheduled in later months," Murphy said. "We heard good things from local hotels about November and December, and this report reflects what the hotels were saying. We are very optimistic that the December numbers also will be good."

Despite the November showing, the area's occupancy rate for the first 11 months of the year was still down 1.3 percentage points from a year ago to 61.2 percent. The area's average room rate for the same period was up 1.9 percent from a year earlier to $91.75.

The report's occupancy and average room rate numbers for the Colorado Springs area don't include The Broadmoor hotel or Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which, along with other Colorado resort hotels, are in a separate category, "other resorts."

Statewide, hotel occupancy levels in November rose 4.5 percentage points, to 53.3 percent - the biggest gain this year. The average room rate was up 4.3 percent to $110.50.

Through November, statewide hotel occupancy was up to 65.2 percent from 63.1 percent during the same period a year ago, and the average room rate increased 3.5 percent to $126.70.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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