Hotel survey details rates, demand

NEW YORK -- The average daily rate for a hotel room in Manhattan was a record $213.83 last year, up 10.9% compared with 1997, according to PKF Consulting.

In December, a month when the cost of a hotel room in the city traditionally runs higher than any other time of year, the average daily room rate was a record $249.81, up 9.6% from 1997, PKF said. Not surprisingly, the city's hotels posted record room revenues, with 70 of the 79 hotels in a survey reporting room revenue growth for the year, PKF said.

For the year, hotel occupancy was 81.3%, down almost one percentage point from 82.2% in 1997, PKF said. Even with the overall slight decrease in the occupancy level, 47 of the 79 hotels in a sample, or 59%, recorded increased occupancy, PKF said.

For 1999, PKF said it projects that room rates will increase about 7% compared with last year, while occupancy levels should remain the same. "The basic dynamics of the New York City market -- strong demand generated by business, tourist and group travelers, together with only limited additions to the supply of rooms -- should keep the occupancies and rates at those ranges," PKF predicted.

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