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Major Gains For Manhattan Hotels in First Half of 1997

Rosy Numbers Spark a Building Boomlet

The Lodging Research Network Reports at http://www.lodgingresearch.com

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 - Occupancy rates at Manhattan hotels hit a whopping 81.5 percent for the first six months of 1997, according to the Lodging Research Network (www.lodgingresearch.com), the comprehensive, Internet-based resource for lodging industry data and information from Coopers Lybrand L.L.P.

That's a 4.7 percent increase over the same period last year, when occupancy was 77.9 percent, the Lodging Research Network reports. The average daily room rate for Manhattan hotels was $171.39 for the first six months of 1997, an 11 percent rise over the year-earlier period, when the average daily rate for Manhattan hotels was $154.43, the Lodging Research Network reports.

"The strong performance of Manhattan hotels in the first half of 1997 -- on the heels of a very strong 1996 -- is sparking considerable interest in hotel development and investment in the borough," according to Arthur Adler, lead New York-based partner in the Coopers Lybrand lodging and gaming group, creators of the Lodging Research Network (www.lodgingresearch.com).

"Currently, there are 19 hotel projects under development or in theplanning stages in Manhattan: an extraordinary number and more than at any point in the last eight years," he added. Four out of five hotel types in Manhattan -- deluxe, first-class, convention and tourist-class hotels -- experienced occupancy increases in the first half of 1997 versus the same period last year, the Lodging Research Network reports.

Tourist-class hotels enjoyed the biggest occupancy gain: a 12.3 percent rise from 74.2 percent occupancy in the first half of 1996 to 83.4 percent occupancy in the first half of 1997.

Manhattan's luxury hotels experienced a negligible occupancy drop, from 77.7 percent in the first half of 1996 to 77.5 percent in the first half of 1997. "Virtually all hotel types are experiencing increased demand levels," Adler observed, "And activity is strong across virtually all sources of demand, including commercial, leisure, transient and group demand."

Each of Manhattan's five hotel types experienced average daily room rate increases of more than seven percent during the first half of 1997 versus the first half of 1996, the Lodging Research Network says.

The luxury segment experienced the biggest increase in average daily rate: a 13.4 percent rise from $208.38 in the first half of 1996 to $236.32 in the first half of 1997, www.lodgingresearch.com says. "For Manhattan's luxury hotels, strong growth in average room rate move than offset a small loss in occupancy for those hotels,"

Adler explained. Manhattan hotels' revenue per available room (RevPAR), an important lodging industry measure, rose 16.2 percent from $120.29 for the first half of 1996 to $139.75 for the first half of 1997, according to the Lodging Research Network. All five hotel types in Manhattan experienced RevPAR gains, with tourist-class hotels experiencing the biggest RevPAR increase: 23.4 percent, from $66.66 in the first half of 1996 to $82.26 in the first half of 1997, www.lodgingresearch.com says.

"Revenue per available room -- a measure that combines the impact of both occupancy and average daily room rate -- has increased markedly during the first half of this year," Adler noted. "The challenge for hotel management now will be to find the equilibrium between maximizing revenues -- and minimizing any potential rate resistance from hotel guests."

Third Quarter Outlook

Surveyed by Coopers Lybrand's Lodging Research Network, Manhattan hoteliers say they anticipate a modest rise on occupancy for the third quarter of 1997. With the peak of the summer tourist season and the beginning of the busy autumn convention season just ahead, Manhattan hoteliers anticipate that average daily room rates will rise as well.

Coopers & Lybrand's Lodging Research Network makes available via the Internet Coopers & Lybrand's renowned econometric forecasts for the lodging industry, breaking lodging industry news, an exclusive database of lodging industry real estate acquisitions, financial data of publicly traded lodging companies (including SEC filings), new hotel construction data, lodging census data from Smith Travel Research as well as an extensive research library that includes U.S. economic and demographic statistics. For more information about the Lodging Research Network, call 1-888-576-6656.

One of the world's leading professional services firms, Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. provides services for enterprises in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 16,000 professionals and staff in offices located in 100 U.S. cities and, through the global network of Coopers & Lybrand International, more than 74,000 people in 142 countries worldwide.

SOURCE: Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P.

Contact: Adam Brecht of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-259-5996, Adam.Brecht@us.coopers.com


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