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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / TOURISM

O.C. Hotels Averaging More Guests, More Money This Year

October 05, 2000|E. SCOTT RECKARD

Orange County hotels generally are faring better this year than in the same period last year, with room rates averaging $111 a night and about 75% of their rooms filled, according to PKF Consulting in Los Angeles.

PKF, which tracks hotel trends, said the national average is about 71% occupancy and $120 a night.

PKF's Orange County figures for the first seven months show a 6.9% increase in room rates and a 4.2% increase in occupancy over the prior January-through-July period.

Newport Beach was looking especially strong, with rates up 7% at $149. Hotels in South County and John Wayne Airport areas followed with room rates of about $106 a night each, up 6.5% and 4.2%, respectively. Anaheim room rates rose by 4%, to about $109 a night.

Anaheim is no place to generalize, though, because of the huge range of hotels and the rates they charge. Example: A recent study for the city by Berkeley's Economic & Planning Systems consulting firm projects that Disney's new Grand Californian Hotel will be able to fill 85% of its rooms at $225 a night when it opens in January.

By contrast, the two existing Walt Disney Co. hotels should fill 82% of their rooms at an average $163 during the current fiscal year, EPS said.

E. Scott Reckard covers tourism for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at scott.reckard@latimes.com.

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