No spectators at the President’s Day hockey tournament in Colorado Springs meant plenty of available rooms in local hotels. As a result, occupancy levels last month fell to the lowest level for February in 30 years.
The 45% occupancy rate for Colorado Springs hotels in February was the lowest for that month since 1991 and down from 58.9% a year earlier, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. The tournament, conducted annually for 44 years, helps fill hotel rooms throughout Colorado Springs for the holiday weekend, but fans weren’t allowed this year under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in El Paso County.
“Last year the President’s Day hockey tournament, the outdoor game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, and a major annual convention helped to fill rooms,” said Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs. “This year, the tournament didn’t have spectators, reducing its impact, and the other two events didn’t happen, and that contributed to a slow month. I remain hopeful looking ahead.”
Occupancy for the first two months of the year was down from 54.8% in February 2020 to 40.3% this year. The slowdown also pushed average room rates lower — the average for February was down 12.5% to $92.74, the biggest year-over-year drop since September, and the average for the first two months of the year was off 12.1% to $91.94.
Even with the decline, occupancy in local hotels last month was higher than the statewide average, the Denver area and much of the Front Range, except for Greeley. The statewide occupancy rate of 43.3% was down from 63.5% in February 2020, while the rate for Denver fell to 40.7% from 65.4% during the same period. Fort Collins matched Denver’s occupancy rate, while Boulder and Longmont were lower.
During the first two months of the year, the statewide occupancy rate was 39% and Denver was at 36.5%.
The average room rate statewide in February fell 16.1% from a year ago to $144.42 and in Denver was down 31.5% during the same period to $87.57.
The average rate for the first two months of the year statewide was down 18% from the same period last year to $139.18, while Denver’s average for the same period was down 32.9% to $85.60.
Colorado Springs hotels were slightly under the national average last month — nationwide occupancy was 45.3%, down from 71.9% a year ago, according to data collected by Tennessee-based travel research firm STR. The average room rate nationwide in February fell 24.8% from a year earlier to $98.31.
Occupancy for that category last month was 45.6%.