DENVER-Statewide, hotel occupancy rates rose to 55.3% in October, compared with 54.4% in October 2003, according to the latest Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. As previously reported in, theDenver metro area hotels showed s similar trend.

Both reports are authored by Bob Benton of Robert S. Benton & Associates. October marks the fifth consecutive month that occupancies bested the same month in 2003. Indeed, there have only been two months this year, February and May, when occupancies failed to improve from a year before. Year-to-date, the occupancy rate stands at 59.9%, compared with 58.3% through October 2003.

Average room rates are showing a similar trend. In October, the average room rate was $88.63, compared with $86.68 in October 2003. October was the fourth consecutive month of improving rates from the like month in 2003.

Room rates only failed to improve in two months–June and July. Year-to-date, the average room rate stood at $96.10, compared with $95.22 through October 2003.

Other resorts, which would include Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Copper Mountain and Keystone, had the highest room rate at $154.62. Aspen followed at $150.66 and Vail at $113. The average occupancy rate in Aspen was 38.5%, 31.1% at Vail and 26.35% for other resorts.

In Colorado Springs, the average room rate was $83.60 for Level I, or class-A hotel room, and the average room rate was 65.9%. Level II, or class-B hotel rooms in Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado, had an average occupancy rate of 49.6% and an average room rate of $51.04.

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