Warmer and drier weather in July helped Colorado Springs hotels recover from four consecutive months of declining occupancy, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.
Local hotels filled 88% of their rooms last month, up from 87.5% in July 2018 and the highest occupancy rate since June 2018, when the Senior Open golf tournament at The Broadmoor boosted occupancy to the second-highest rate in 22 years. Precipitation in the Springs was down by more than half from July 2018, and the average temperature was 2 degrees higher, according to the National Weather Service.
The occupancy rate was 72% through the first seven months of 2019, down from 72.6% on a year-over-year basis, though occupancy at full-service hotels with abundant meeting space, restaurants and other amenities is slightly up during the same period. That gain was more than offset by a 2-percentage-point drop in occupancy at limited-service hotels.
The average room rate also recovered in July, increasing 5.2% to a record $147.45, ending two consecutive months of declines and replacing a record set in June 2018. The average room rate for the first seven months of the year rose 1% from a year earlier, to $120.89, with full- and limited-service hotels posting small gains from a year ago.
Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs, attributed the improvement to “great weather and heavy seasonal advertising” by the bureau during peak summer tourism.
July also was a strong month for the hotel industry statewide with occupancy increasing by the biggest percentage this year — 85.4% — compared to 83% in July 2018. Occupancy fell in June but has been up every other month in 2019; for the first seven months of the year it improved to 70.7% from 70.1% a year earlier.
The state’s average room rate also posted the biggest gain of the year, rising 3.4% to $176.31 after a slight drop in June. The average for the first seven months of 2019 was up 1.8% to $163.09.
The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the totals for Colorado Springs hotels but are part of a separate category where occupancy and the average room rate are both up for the year.