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A guest waits with his belongings before his car is brought from valet parking at The Mining Exchange hotel Feb. 16 in downtown Colorado Springs.

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Colorado Springs hotels followed a strong February with a decent March despite a small drop in occupancy, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

Last month’s 68.2% occupancy rate was down slightly from 68.8% in March 2018, but represented the highest occupancy for any March in 22 years. The drop was the first since November and followed a big gain in February that was the biggest year-over-year improvement in more than two years. About 300 rooms in several local hotels were off the market in February during renovations.

Despite the decline in March, occupancy for the first three months of the year rose to 62.4% from 59.5% during the same period last year. The improvement was driven by gains at full-service hotels — which offer restaurants, meeting space and other amenities — more than offsetting a small drop at limited-service properties.

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Chelsy Offutt, a spokeswoman for Visit Colorado Springs, said the hotel industry benefited from the tourism agency’s online advertising, which lured spring-break visitors from Texas and elsewhere in Colorado. She said the report “reflects strong hotel performance with gains in rate and revenue per available room.”

The average rate at local hotels in March increased 3.6% from March 2018 to $101.91 and for the first three months of the year was up 3.4% to $100.85.

Statewide hotel occupancy in March rose slightly to 69.3% from 69% in March 2018 and is up in the first three months of the year to 64.1% from 63.4% a year ago. The average room rate in March edged up less than 1% to $167.54, and the year-to-date total was up 1.6% to $170.51.

The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the totals for Colorado Springs hotels, but are part of a separate category — “other resorts” — where both year-to-date occupancy and average room rate are up from the same period a year earlier.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman Twitter twitter.com/wayneheilman

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

Twitter twitter.com/wayneheilman

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