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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Hoteliers Enjoy 16.5% Surge in Room Rates With Demand Rising

May 07, 1997|(Marla Dickerson)

The long-anticipated rise in Orange County hotel room rates appears to be taking hold, as prices took a double-digit jump in March to cap a solid month for local hoteliers.

The average price for a room in Orange County in March was $97.39, according to a survey by PKF Consulting, a Los Angeles-based hospitality consulting firm. That's up 16.5% from the $83.61 average rate charged by local hotels in March 1996.

Room rates at hotels near John Wayne Airport rose to $93.98 in March--a whopping 23.3% increase over the same period a year ago. The rate surge reflects a strong increase in demand, as business travelers are filling many of those hotels to capacity during the week.

In Anaheim, the county's largest hotel market, the average rate reached $104.03, up 16.5% from March 1996. Hoteliers credit several large conventions, an early Easter holiday and the demolition of several cut-rate motels as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion for boosting the average rates there.

Countywide occupancy reached 77.8% in March, up slightly from 76.9% in March 1996. Through the first three months of the year, overall occupancy of 73.4% is running ahead of the 70.2% recorded last year.

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