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MINNEAPOLIS-The Twin Cities hotel industry saw demand remain constant for the first six months of this year compared with last year, according to a new market survey report from GVA Marquette Advisors.

The overall second quarter occupancy rate was 61.9%, down from 65.1% in the second quarter of 2002. The average rate was $90.93 per night, down from $95.88 in the second quarter a year ago, according to the report. For the half, the average occupancy rate was 59.6%.

A sharp rise in demand in the first quarter of the year was wiped out by a fall off in the second quarter, according to the new report. GVA Marquette Advisors attributes the second quarter fall off to the war in Iraq.

“Lodging demand increased in Minneapolis but continues to decline in St. Paul and the I-494 corridor,” the report says.

Demand at Minneapolis hotels was up nearly 14% in the first quarter of the year, but the second quarter show a decline. Still, Minneapolis with an occupancy rate of 60.2% in the first half is the only sector where demand during the first half of 2003 was higher than demand in the comparable period in 2000.

St. Paul’s occupancy rate was 51% in the first half, lower than any other Twin Cities sector. In the I-494 corridor, occupancy was about 61.3%, the same as a year ago.

Through its hospitality group, GVA Marquette Advisors offers specialized consulting services to hotel and other leisure industry operations throughout North America.

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