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Hotel industry suffers another bad week

In Los Angeles County, revenue per available room last week was down 21% from a year earlier, while Orange County saw a 17% drop. New York saw the steepest decline among major markets, at 29.4%.

August 14, 2009|Roger Vincent

Last week was another ghastly one for the hotel industry, researchers said Thursday, with occupancy and revenue again down substantially compared with a year earlier.

Some cities were hurt less than others: Washington hotels were only slightly worse off than last year, while New York was the hardest hit among major markets, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. Hotels along highways suffered less than all other types of properties, such as resorts and upscale urban inns.

The hospitality industry measures success in terms of revenue per available room -- RevPAR, they call it -- by multiplying a hotel's occupancy rate by its average daily room rate. By that measure, revenue for the week ended Saturday was down 16.5% from a year earlier. That was a tiny bit worse than the 15.5% drop reported the week before.

Luxury hotels are hurting the most, though their suffering is getting "less bad," Smith Travel said. RevPAR at those hotels was down 24.5% compared with declines of as much as 30% that took place during the second quarter.

In Los Angeles County, average revenue was down 21% from a year earlier, while Orange County had a 17% decline. Tourist magnet San Francisco was off 14.5%. Washington was down only 4.2%, but New York recorded a 29.4% drop.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

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