DENVER-The area hotel market improved in August from August 2003, according to the latest Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. In fact, analysis of the data by shows that August, so far, is the only month in 2004 that the average occupancy rate went up as well as the average room rate.

The report, compiled by hospitality consultant Bob Benton of Robert S.Benton & Associates, shows that hotels had an average occupancy rate of 75.2% in August, compared with 72.9% in 2003. However, the hotel occupancy rate dropped slightly from 76,9% in July, which was the highest so far this year.

Year-to-date, the average room rate stood at 63.8%, compared with 61.8% in the first eight months of 2003. The average room rate rose to $86.35, the highest so far this year, in August. It was also the first month this year that the average room rate bested the same month in 2003. The average room rate stood at $84.71 in August 2003. Year-to-date, the average room rate stands at $83.13, down slightly from $84.71 through the first eight months of 2003.

The highest average room rates were found in the 159,117 available room nights Downtown, where the average room rate was $120.68. The only other submarket to break $100 was Boulder, which stood at $105.33. Boulder also boasted the highest overall occupancy rate at 82.3% Downtown’s occupancy rate stood at 80.3%, while the 81.7% of the 59,845 available room nights near DIA were occupied. The average room rate for DIA hotels was $82.18.

Class A hotels along the southeast suburban corridor had an averageoccupancy rate of 78% and an average room rate of $85.56. The class B hotels along the southeast corridor had an average room rate of $53.07 and an average occupancy rate of 71.7%. The US 36 corridor between Boulder and Denver showed an average occupancy rate of 77.4% and an average room rate of $88.72.

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