DENVER-The overall average hotel occupancy rate in the metro area rose to 77.6% in June, compared with 71.2% in June 2004, according to the latest Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. That is the highest monthly occupancy rate this year, according to the report, which was written by Bob Benton of Robert S. Benton & Associates.

Benton, who also does a statewide report, says that the average room rate also rose to the highest point of the year, at $91.99, which is 8.5% higher than the average room rate of $84.76 a year earlier.

Mid-year, the average occupancy rate rose to 62.6% from 59.6% through June 2004. So far, only March’s occupancy rate hasn’t bested the same month in 2004. The average room rate at the end of the second quarter stands at $88.71, 8.07% higher than the $82.08 at the end of June 2004. So far this year, the average room rate has risen every month when compared with the same month of 2004.

The 158,021 hotel available room nights in Downtown had the highest average room rate at $130.55. Downtown also had one of the higher average occupancy rates at 80.2%.

The only other market to top $100 was Boulder, at $106.15. The 53,490 room nights in that market showed a 77.4% occupancy rate in June. The US 36 corridor between Boulder and Denver had an average room rate of $96.04 per night and an average room rate of 76.6%. There are 66,309 available room nights along that corridor, which includes parts of Broomfield, Louisville and Westminster.

That corridor, as far as price, was followed by the Level I, or class A, hotels along the southeast suburban corridor. The 105,676 room nights in that category show an average room rate of $94.62 and an occupancy rate of 76.3%. That entire submarket, which has a total of 258,839 available room nights, has an average room rate of $83.86 per night and an average occupancy rate of 76.9%.

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