Colorado Springs hotels were less full in February than a year ago — a downward trend that will accelerate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past couple of weeks, at least five high-profile Colorado Springs hotels have closed temporarily after most guests canceled reservations and the Space Symposium and several smaller meetings were postponed or canceled. The Broadmoor, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, the Great Wolf Lodge, the downtown Hilton Garden Inn and the Mining Exchange hotel have shut down at least through April, according to a list compiled by Visit Colorado Springs.
“The best measure of what is going on in the hotel industry will be revenue from the city’s lodging tax,” which the tourism marketing organization expects to drop “significantly” for March, April and May, Visit Colorado Springs CEO Doug Price said Tuesday. “I have heard the occupancy rate for Denver area hotels in March was about 10% because so many citywide conventions had been canceled. I haven’t heard any comparable numbers for Colorado Springs.”
The American Hotel & Lodging Association estimates more than 22,000 hotel workers statewide will lose their jobs in coming weeks as a result of low occupancy rates and reservation cancellations.
Price said the outlook for the Pike Peak region’s peak summer tourism season remains unclear as it’s not known when state orders closing bars, restaurant dining rooms, casinos, gyms, theaters and other businesses will be lifted.
Visit Colorado Springs is trying to help local hospitals get special rates at hotels to house their workers so the workers don’t have to go home and risk exposure to the virus or other illnesses, Price said. That would at least provide hotels that are still operating with some revenue and a way to keep some staff employed, he said.
The February occupancy rate fell to 58.9% from 63.5% a year earlier, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. Last year’s rate, however, was inflated by the closure of several local hotels for renovations, which thus were not included in the numbers.
The occupancy rate for the first two months of the year fell to 54.8% from 59.3% during the same period in 2019.
Despite the drop, the average room rate for February was up 3% from a year ago to $105.93; it was up by a similar percentage for the first two months of the year to $103.07.
Statewide hotel occupancy also fell in February to 63.5% from 64.1% a year earlier and was down for the first two months of the year.
The average room rate fell 1.5% for February and the first two months of the year to $172.18 and $169.78, respectively.
The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the Colorado Springs numbers but instead are included in the other resorts category, where in February occupancy was down and the average rate was slightly higher.
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