The Colorado Springs area hotel industry roared back to health in June with the nation’s third-highest occupancy rate, according to a report from hotel research firm STR.
The 84.4% occupancy rate ranked behind only the Florida Keys and Tennessee’s Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area among the 165 U.S. cities tracked by STR and was well ahead of the 66.1% national average.
“We are exceeding our early projections for this point in the summer tourism season, and that is just another sign that both leisure and business travel are returning. The forecast for August and September also points to this trend continuing into early fall,” said Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs. “This ranking speaks to how fortunate we are to have Colorado in our name.”
The Rocky Mountain Lodging Report from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, which uses different criteria for its survey, had an even higher occupancy rate for Colorado Springs hotels — 85.2% — with occupancy in limited-service hotels approaching 90%. The local occupancy rate is the highest since July 2019 and was up nearly 40 percentage points from the 46.6% occupancy rate in June 2020. The local occupancy rate for the first half of the year rose to 59.2% from 41.3% last year, when the pandemic was crushing travel.
The average room rate in local hotels last month jumped 45.2% from June 2020 to a record $151.42, breaking the previous record set in August 2019 by nearly $4 a night. The average rate for the first half of the year increased 14.5% from the same period a year ago to $113.57, with rates in limited-service hotels growing twice as full-service hotels that offer extensive meeting space, several restaurants and other amenities.
The occupancy rate for Colorado Springs hotels was the state’s third highest behind Durango and Glenwood Springs, which are not tracked by STR, and was ahead of the statewide average of 70.2%. Denver hotels averaged 70.5%, with convention center area hotels reporting the lowest occupancy rate at 62.1%. The statewide occupancy rate for the first half of the year was 51.6%, a major improvement from 42.7% last year during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Denver area occupancy rate for the first half of the year recovered to 50.9% from 42% a year earlier.
The average room rate statewide in June bounced back 48.5% from June 2020 to $115.73, while Denver area rates last month were up 43.3% from a year ago. Statewide average room rates in the first half of the year were down 6.4% from the same period in 2020 to $136.01, while Denver area rates were off 10.3% during the same period to $104.12.
The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are not included in the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report’s Colorado Springs totals, but are listed in a separate category that includes many of the state’s ski resorts.