November is one of those “shoulder months,” as people in the local lodging industry like to say in reference to the off-season.
Compared with the like year-ago month, though, occupancy rates were a mixed bag. Some communities saw increases and a few others, declines, resulting in an overall increase of 0.2 percent, or basically flat.
That’s the so-so news. The good news is that the amount innkeepers were able to charge for rooms was up by a healthy margin countywide, according to PKF Consulting Corp.
Occupancy at inns in Mission Bay was off by 5.9 percent to 64.1 percent, while those in downtown and the San Diego Bay area both saw a 0.8 percent decline, to 69.4 percent and 68.1 percent, respectively. Mission Valley hoteliers experienced a 1 percent occupancy increase to 70.3 percent.
By contrast, the La Jolla area’s and North County’s hotel lobbies were busier. In La Jolla, occupancy rose 4.8 percent to 63.3 percent; the University Towne Center area was up 3.3 percent to 71.4 percent; and the north coastal area was up 2.6 percent to 62.6 percent.
La Jolla’s average daily room rate of $222 was up 6.3 percent, while the daily rate for hotels in the bay area was up 11.6 percent , the biggest jump of any of the 10 sectors surveyed , to $214.
The overall average occupancy rate was flat at 68.3 percent, yet the daily room rate average rose 7.6 percent to $159.
Year to date in November average hotel occupancy throughout the county was up 1.5 percent to 79 percent, while the average daily rate was up 7.1 percent to $166.
Though forecasters expect that local hoteliers will be able to continue raising room rates largely because of the continued influx of leisure travelers, some expect that companies will be looking to pare down the expense of individual business travel by booking stays at less expensive accommodations than in the past.
Feeling the pinch of increases in airfares, and rental car rates, as well as hotel room rates nationwide, corporate and association meeting planners are expected to drive harder bargains for out-of-town conventions and events.
PKF is a nationwide lodging industry analyst and consulting firm with offices in Los Angeles.
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APMC Looks East To Westward Look:
San Diego-based American Property Management Corp. completed the purchase of the historic 244-room Westward Look Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., this month.
Neptune Hospitality Advisors arranged senior financing of $30.5 million for the adobe-style property that was built up around a desert hacienda dating back to 1912.
Unique in character, the home’s living room, just off the hotel lobby, features the original hardwood floor, stone hearth, wrought-iron chandeliers and ocotillo-ribbed ceiling.
Michael Gallegos, president and chief executive officer of APMC, says his company plans a multimillion-dollar renovation to reposition the Westward Look as a four-star resort.
The acquisition marks the second Tucson hotel in APMC’s portfolio of 48 hotels in the United States and Mexico. Its local properties include the Holiday Inn SeaWorld, the Radisson Hotel San Diego in downtown and Hotel La Jolla.
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