Downtown Houston is the strongest hotel market in the city and it’s projected to be hot for the rest of this year.

For the first half of the this year, the downtown had an occupancy rate of 72.9%, up from 63.8% in the first half of 1999, according to the PKF Consulting firm, in a midyear report. The strength of the downtown hotel market has been noticed by developers. A number of hotels are being built downtown, including a 114-room Holiday Inn Express, 191-room Courtyard by Marriott, 171-room Residence Inn and 250-room Crowne Plaza.

The opening of the Enron Field baseball stadium in downtown has added to the strength of the downtown market, says John Keeling of PKF Consulting. At midyear, the citywide hotel occupancy rate in Houston was 66.6%, up from 63.8% in the first half of 1999.

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