|By Rivkela Brodsky, Albuquerque Journal,
N.M.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
October 9, 2009 - Albuquerque area hotels witnessed yet another slow month in August, although occupancy numbers were only slightly lower than 2008.
Data from the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report list a 63.2 percent occupancy rate for August compared to 68.3 percent last year.
The data, however, continue a markedly downward trend for the year. The year-to-date occupancy rate from January through August was 57.8 percent while the rate was 65.4 percent for the same time period in 2008.
The average daily room rate and the revenue per available room were also down in comparison to 2008. The average daily rate for Albuquerque was $85.98 in August. In 2008, that number was $88.34. For the year from January to August, it was $84.84, while the same time period in 2008 saw a $88.34 rate. Revenue per available room for August was $54.37, while August of 2008 was $60.35. From January to August it was $49.07 in comparison to $57.77 for 2008.
Industry off icials have pointed to a down economy and the H1N1 virus as reasons behind lower occupancy and decreased hotel business.
In July, the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau reported a 40 percent drop in hotel business tied to the Convention Center for its fiscal year that ended June 30. The bureau had hoped to see increased occupancy over the summer months.
The lodging report showed the year started out with a 42.1 percent occupancy in Albuquerque, increasing to 55. 3 percent in February. March through May stayed in the high 50 percent area. June, July and August saw percentages in the low 60s.
Rates were also down for Santa Fe and the rest of the state. Santa Fe had a 75.8 percent occupancy rate for August while the rate for 2008 was 80.1 percent. The year-to-date rate for Santa Fe was 58 percent. It was 65 percent during the January to August time frame in 2008.
The state had a 64.6 percent occupancy rate for August. That number was 70 percent in August 2008. The year-todate figure for the state was 57.8 percent in 2009, while that number was 64.4 percent in 2008.
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