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Growth in demand for Utah hotel rooms slowed a bit in May, but prices were up

First Published      Last Updated Jun 19 2017 05:54 pm

Business wasn't quite as brisk at Utah hotels in May as it was earlier in the year, but it was still better than a year ago.

Hotels in Salt Lake County filled 77.5 percent of their rooms nightly last month, said the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. That was 2.2 percent higher than May 2016, but well-below the 4.2 percent occupancy increase recorded by lodging establishments in the capital county through the first five months of 2017.

Statewide, occupancy levels reached 71.7 percent last month, a 3 percent jump over the previous May. The five-month average is 70.4 percent, compared with 68.7 percent for the same period a year earlier.




Whether in Salt Lake City or elsewhere, hoteliers were able to charge more last month. They collected about $7 more per night per room. The average daily rate in Salt Lake County was $114.25. Statewide it was $112.23.

With May being a between-seasons month for mountain resorts, lodging in those Utah communities saw occupancy clipped to 39.5 percent nightly last month. Still, Utah resorts are 4 percent ahead of the occupancy pace they set a year ago through the first five months, the report said.

Summer prospects seemed ho-hum as May ended, according to another Denver-based monitor of mountain-resort lodging, DestiMetrics.

Director Ralf Garrison said reservations for May through October are a "scant" 0.6 percent above last summer's bookings at the 290 property-management companies controlling 30,000 rooms that it surveys at 20 resort communities in Utah and seven other Western states.

But, once again, higher room rates are making up for reduced visitation. Total revenues for the period through October are projected to top last year by 9.3 percent.

"A rate increase is good for lodging properties," Garrison noted, "but doesn't help the broader, tourism-dependent economy."

He remains optimistic about the summer season as a whole. "With more than half of last summer's business already either booked or in the bank for this summer, a sixth consecutive revenue record for summer business is likely."

mikeg@sltrib.com

 

AT A GLANCE

May occupancy rates

Salt Lake City » 78 percent

St. George » 76 percent

Provo » 66 percent

Davis County » 73 percent

Ogden » 74 percent

Cedar City » 71 percent

Logan » 70.6 percent

Other Utah » 75.9 percent

Source: Rocky Mountain Lodging Report


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