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HOUSTON-January’s Super Bowl is a good start to a new year, but it won’t be enough of an economic stimulus to re-energize the 2004 hotel market in the city, says PKF Consulting.

John M. Keeling, PKF Consulting’s senior vice president and executive in charge in Houston, tells GlobeSt.com that the four-day Super Bowl event and preceding week most likely will result in full hotels in the city and all the suburbs and command rates of $150 or more in comparison to the current average of about $90.

Still, Keeling predicts the coming year will bring more decline in occupancy and RevPAR due, in large part, to the CBD’s building boom that will take the room count from 1,800 to 5,000. To date, the Downtown activity has brought a 1,200-room Hilton Americas, 191-room Courtyard Marriott and 171-room Residence Inn. Next year will bring the 208-room Inn at the Ballpark, 265-room Club Quarters in the former Texas State Hotel and 131-room Hotel Icon. Keeling says only part of the decline can be blamed on the economy.

Keeling says this year has been “lackluster,” with a citywide occupancy of 62% and daily room rate of about $90 for the 56,400-room inventory. In the CBD, occupancy is 52%; rooms, $163 per day. By the end of 2004, Keeling is predicting another 3% drop in occupancy citywide and a cut of 2% to 4% in Downtown. The average room cost will fall about 5% citywide while the CBD daily cost will drop to about $155.

Houston’s numbers aren’t likely to show any “sharp improvement” for two years regardless of a surge in the local economy, according to Keeling. In contrast, Austin and Dallas are looking at a four- to five-year recovery, he says.

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