More Glenwood hotel rooms full in 2014 |

More Glenwood hotel rooms full in 2014

Desk clerk Jeanette Shiflett
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

Glenwood Springs hotel rooms were occupied more often last year than in 2013, according to the year-end Rocky Mountain Lodging Report for 2014, continuing an upward trend in local lodging occupancy and serving as further testament to a healthy tourism economy.

During 2014 as a whole, lodging occupancy for available Glenwood Springs hotel and motel rooms included in the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association’s statewide database grew to 63.2 percent, up from 57.9 percent the previous year.

That continues a year-over-year increase dating back to at least 2010, when the two Marriott hotels, the Residence Inn and Courtyard Inn at Glenwood Meadows, entered the Glenwood Springs market.

Glenwood’s lodging occupancy was 56.4 percent in 2012, and was 53.5 percent in 2011, according to data from the monthly reports provided by Lisa Langer, vice president of tourism marketing for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

“One of the things I like to look at is how we compare to the resort towns, even though we’re not considered a resort town by the lodging association,” Langer said, pointing to the 51.9 percent average resort lodging occupancy rate for 2014 that’s indicated in the report.

That figure includes the major Colorado resort towns of Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park and Breckenridge, while Glenwood Springs is lumped in with places like Grand Junction, Durango, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley.

“We don’t have the marketing dollars like a Vail or an Aspen has, but you can see from the report that we are doing very well compared to those markets,” Langer said.

By comparison, Aspen had a 59.6 hotel occupancy rate in 2014, while Vail’s occupancy was 55.3 percent for the year, according to the CHLA report.

Local hotel room occupancy was up in December as well, when Glenwood saw 46 percent of what are referred to in the report as “available room nights” booked for the month. That was up from 42.3 percent in December 2013, while the December 2012 figure was less than 40 percent.

Last year’s numbers were bolstered by a strong summer tourist season in Glenwood Springs, which ended up being one of the best on record in terms of both hotel occupancy and taxes collected on overnight stays, Langer said.

The biggest month of the year for city tourism, July, saw an 89.2 percent occupancy rate, up from 87 percent in July of the previous year, she said.

Likewise, the city of Glenwood Springs collected 13.2 percent more accommodations taxes in July than it did during the same month in 2013, according to figures provided by the city.

As of the latest year-to-date accommodations tax figures from the city, reflecting collections through November 2014, the city was on track to see close to a 16 percent year-over-year increase.

The increases in lodging occupancy last year also came with a slight increase in the average daily room rate for the year. That figure came in at $117.44 per night, compared to $111.84 in 2013.

Given the number of rooms that were not booked during the course of the year, that meant participating lodges made about $74.18 per available room in 2014, compared with $64.75 per room the prior year.

Langer said the fact that people are willing to pay a little more for a night’s stay in Glenwood Springs is encouraging.

“We are seeing that people are coming anyway, and we are still less than a lot of our neighbors,” she said. “Glenwood Springs is an affordable place to come and visit any time of year.”

Statewide, hotel occupancy was 68.3 percent in 2014, up from 64 percent in 2013, while the average room rate went up from $127.84 to $135.49, according to the year-end lodging report.

“Most of Colorado has been up over the last year,” Langer said, including lodges in Grand Junction where occupancy has been flat for several years.

Grand Junction hotels saw their occupancy increase from 55.6 percent in 2013 to 58.9 percent last year. One way they accomplished that was by lowering the average room rate slightly, which ended up translating to more revenue, according to figures contained in the report.

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