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MINNEAPOLIS-Demand for lodging has increased in the first half of this year compared to the same period a year ago. The occupancy level in the second quarter as 68.7%, up from 60.3% in the first quarter and 61.9% in the second quarter of last year, according to a report on the Twin Cities hotel market from GVA Marquette Advisors, a locally based real estate consulting firm.

Average daily rates were $87.50 per room, down from $90.93 in the second quarter of last year, according to the report. Minneapolis had the highest daily room rate at $98.03, followed by St. Paul at $94.53 and Interstate 494 corridor hotels at $79.51.

The increase is likely due to the economic recovery, according to the GVA Marquette report. The most improvement was in St. Paul, which had an occupancy rate of 56.3% in the first half, up from 51% a year ago. In Minneapolis, occupancy was at 64%, up from 60.2%. The Interstate 494 corridor near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America, was 66.9%, up from 61.3%.

The local market consists of 27 hotels with a total of 6,354 rooms in Downtown or near the University of Minnesota campus; the St. Paul market consists of 13 hotels in Downtown or near the Midway district with 2,437 rooms; and the Interstate 494 corridor consists of 61 hotels in Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Eagan with 10,118 rooms.

Nationally, the hotel industry has recovered from the down cycle it experienced over the last two years, according to GVA Marquette Advisors.

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