The Colorado Springs hotel market continued to rank as one of the nation’s best last month, even though the city’s occupancy rate fell somewhat from July.
The Springs’ 78.3% hotel occupancy rate in August was second only to the 86.4% rate in Portland, Maine, among 165 cities tracked by hotel research firm STR and was well above the 63.2% national average. Colorado Springs also ranked second in July and third in June in the SRT rankings as the local economy works to shake off the impact of the COVID pandemic.
“The fact that Colorado Springs was second overall in the nation speaks to the power and draw of outdoor recreation and our improved air access” with the March expansion of Southwest Airlines to Colorado Springs, said Doug Price, CEO of Visit Colorado Springs.
“I am ecstatic about the ranking, but we still have a ways to go to completely recover. We have seen some fall-off in meeting attendance here this month due to the (COVID) delta variant triggering tighter corporate travel policies.”
The Rocky Mountain Lodging Report from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, which uses different criteria for its survey, pegged the local occupancy rate at 75.8%. That was down from 85% in July, but up from 70.9% in August 2020.
Giving a boost to August’s numbers was the Space Symposium. Traditionally the city’s largest convention, the symposium was held Aug. 23-26 at The Broadmoor hotel, although the resort is not included in the lodging report’s Colorado Springs totals; it and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are listed in a separate category that includes many ski resorts.
Occupancy for the first eight months of the year increased from 48.4% last year to 64.6% this year, with limited-service and full-service hotels posting double-digit percentage gains from last year.
The symposium helped keep room rates high, even as occupancy dipped.
The average room rate in August fell less than 1% from July’s record to $171.12 and was up nearly 50% from August 2020 and 23.4% higher than the average rate in August 2019. The average rate in the first eight months of the year rose 26.1% from a year earlier to $132.11, with limited-service hotels outpacing gains from full-service properties.
Colorado Springs had the state’s third-highest hotel occupancy rate, behind Durango at 89.7% and Estes Park at 76.5%. The statewide occupancy rate was 69.3%, well ahead of 51.1% in August 2020, and so far this year is 57.2%, up from 44.8% last year.
Denver’s occupancy rate increased to 70.3% in August from 45.6% in August 2020. Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland reported August occupancy rates of at least 70%.
The state’s average room rate in August jumped 35.3% from a year ago to $178.13. The average room rate in Denver last month surged 52.8% from August 2020 to $154.25 and for the first eight months of the year was up 8.6% to $120.91.
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