|By Jefferson George, The Charlotte
Observer, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
January 14, 2009 - Fewer than half of Charlotte-area hotel rooms were occupied in November, with occupancy rates plunging 17 percent from a year earlier, according to data released today by local tourism officials.
For the first 11 months of last year, occupancy was 61.6 percent -- a decline of 8.2 percent from the same period in 2007, according to data from Smith Travel Research. That's bigger than a 6.6 percent decline in occupancy in North Carolina and a 4 percent drop nationwide.
Even worse, area hotels saw a slight dip in November in the average daily rate for rooms, which posted consistent gains earlier in the year. The average rate of $81.40 for the month was down almost 1 percent from a year earlier.
For the first 11 months in 2008, the average daily rate was $87.36, up 4.9 percent from the same period in 2007. That's more than the 3.7 percent increase in North Carolina and 2.8 percent increase nationwide.
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