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SAN DIEGO-The local hotel industry will continue to struggle with low occupancy through most of 2002, according to analysts.

Robert Rauch, managing director of the West Coast office of InterBank Brener, says hotel occupancy levels will hover in the low 60% range until March, compared with 75.4% for the year through August.

Revenue fell $100 million in September, with 5,000 hotel employees possibly being laid off as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hotels nationwide have seen their occupancy rates plummet as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. Concerns about airport security hassles have sliced into airline passenger traffic.

Occupancy rates fell by 15-17% in September while revenue per available room fell as much as 24%, according to a report by Smith Travel Research.

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