Study: NYC hotels set record in 2000

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NEW YORK -- Hotels in the Big Apple had a banner year in 2000, recording their highest occupancy in more than a half-century and their highest-ever average daily room rate, according to a study by PKF Consulting.

Despite charging record-high rates, New York's hotels recorded their highest occupancy in more than 50 years. Above, the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. Occupancy at the approximately 100 hotels sampled was 84.6% last year, up from 81.2% in 1999. It was the highest annual occupancy for Manhattan hotels in more than 50 years, PKF said.

The business and leisure travelers who fueled the record occupancy were charged an average of $237.16 per room, up 7.5% compared with 1999. The room rate contributed to a revenue per available room increase in 2000 of 12% compared with 1999, PKF said.

However, there were signs late last year that the hot hotel market was cooling down.

Occupancy was down month-over-month in October and November, and the average daily room rate in December was down 2.6% compared with 1999, PKF said.

The firm attributed October and November's occupancy drop and December's room rate dip to a slowing national economy and competition from the approximately 11 new hotels with more than 3,000 rooms that were added last year.

The "unparalleled" levels of prices and occupancy during the first three quarters of 2000 was a "very difficult trend to maintain for a sustained period," PKF said.

The firm predicted that New York's hotels this year will see a "softening in occupancies," primarily in the first quarter, compared with last year, although it said room rates will increase.

New York expects to add 1,700 hotel rooms this year, bringing the inventory to approximately 69,000 rooms.

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