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DENVER-Hotel occupancy rates statewide in October rose to 58%, compared with 55.3% a year earlier, shows the latest Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. And the average room rate in a Colorado hotel rose 6.4% to $94.28, compared with $88.63 in October 2004.Statewide, the hotel market is showing the same trend as previously reported in GlobeSt.com for the Denver-area hotels. Year-to-date, the average occupancy rate for Colorado hotels is 62.3% compared with 59.9% through the first 10 months of last year.

As with Denver-area hotels, through October, only one month—March—failed to best the occupancy rate during the same month in 2004. And, as with Denver-area hotels, the average room rate has improved every month during 2005. Year-to-date, the average room rate is $104.59, 8.8% more than the $96.10 averaged in the first 10 months of 2004.

Bob Benton of Robert S. Benton & Associates found the highest room rates in October were in the “other resorts” category. That category, which includes Telluride, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone and other resorts, boated an average room rate of $159.61 in October, even though only 28.2% of the 174,931 available room nights were occupied.

Aspen, by contrast, which typically has the most expensive rooms, came in second place during October with an average room rate of $147.56, even though 39.1% of its 27,027 available room nights were occupied. Vail in October actually trailed the mountain community of Estes Park, which had average room rates of $103.28 and $110.77, respectively. In Vail, 35.7% of the 35,137 available room nights were occupied, while at Estes Park, 45.9% of the 22,737 available room nights were occupied.

The Level I, or class A, hotels in Colorado Springs, showed an average room rate of $86.49 per night. In October, 64.7%, or 56,595 out of the 87,420 available room nights, were occupied. The Level II hotels in Colorado Springs had an average room rate of $56.50, about $30 per night less than class A properties. In Level II hotels, 52.6% of the 64,688 available room nights were occupied.

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