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The Mining Exchange Hotel on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Colorado Springs hotels slumped in April with occupancy dropping by the largest percentage in 5½ years, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

Last month’s 67.7% occupancy rate was down 6.8 percentage points from a year ago, the biggest drop since flooding in Colorado curbed tourism visits in October 2013. Occupancy also was down in March, making the back-to-back drops the first since September and October of 2017. Despite the two down months, occupancy in the first four months of the year is up slightly to 63.7% from 63.3% last year.

Colorado Springs Airport passenger numbers down in April

Hotels were able to offset some of the occupancy decline in April with a 6.2% jump in the average room rate to $119.04, the biggest percentage increase since August. The average room rate for the first four months of the year was up 3.7% from the same period last year — to $105.73 — with similar gains in limited- and full-service properties.

Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs said that despite the big drop in occupancy, the “average rate continued its increase, thus offsetting some of the reduced occupancy. With a robust start to the year, it is possible that spring breaks in Colorado and surrounding states occurred in March and left a void of visitors between those and the end of school.” He said the hotel industry expects a “very strong” summer tourism season.

New airport shuttle service launched in Colorado Springs

Statewide hotel occupancy in April rose to 66.3% from 65.9% in April 2018, the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Occupancy in the first four months of the year increased to 64.6% from 64% a year earlier. The average room rate in April was up 1.9% to $139 and in the first four months of the year is up the same percentage to $162.91.

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 occupancy is up and the average room rate is flat.

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