Colorado Springs hotels didn’t have quite as good a month in September as they did in August, but still remained well ahead of Denver and much of the rest of Colorado, according to the latest numbers.
The hotel occupancy rate last month in Colorado Springs fell to 66.1% from nearly 71% in September, behind Durango, Glenwood Springs and Craig in Colorado but well ahead of the statewide and national averages, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. The occupancy rate was down from 77% in September 2019, but the percentage decline from a year ago was the smallest since the COVID-19 pandemic surged into the state.
“The good news is that we are trending in the right direction with the decline (from a year ago) getting smaller each month, and I hear from hotels that October was unexpectedly as good or better than September,” said Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs. “I am concerned about the rise in (COVID-19) cases and what that means for capacity in hotel meeting rooms and restaurants. It has helped to have a capacity for meetings of up to 175 people. I realize we will probably soon have a reduction in capacity” because of the increase in cases.
Limited-service hotels are faring better than full-service hotels that depend on conventions, business meetings and other large gatherings to fill rooms, with the occupancy rate for limited service hotels at 74.9% and the rate for full-service hotels at 61.2%. That gap has remained the case throughout the pandemic. The local occupancy rate for the first three quarters of the year is down to 50.4% from 74% for the same period last year, with limited-service occupancy 13.6 percentage points higher than full- service hotels.
The average room rate for local hotels last month fell 14.7% from a year earlier to $104.99, the smallest monthly decline since February.
Denver was among the worst markets in the state, behind Longmont and a few resort areas, with a September occupancy rate of just 47%, down from 81.5% a year earlier but up slightly from August and the highest monthly rate since February. Denver area hotel occupancy for the first nine months of the year was 43.2%, down from 77.1% during the same period last year. The average room rate in Denver last month fell 39.1% to $96.14 .
Statewide hotel occupancy edged lower in September to 50.8% from 51.1% in August and was down sharply from 76.6% in September 2019. The three highest occupancy rates in Colorado last month were Durango at 77.3%, Glenwood Springs at 72% and Craig at 69.8%. Occupancy during the first nine months of the year was down to 44.5% from 72.6% a year ago. The average room rate in September was down 24.2% from a year earlier to $121.04 and so far this year is was off 15.2% to $138.37.
U.S. hotel occupancy in September fell slightly from August to 48.3%, down from 76.5% a year ago, while the average room rate was down 24.9% to $99.12, according to Tennessee-based hotel research firm STR.
The Colorado Springs numbers in the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report don’t include The Broadmoor of Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which are included a separate category called “other resorts.”