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Posted on Monday, 02.22.2010

Miami hotels show signs of recovery, Hotels in Miami

Hotels in Miami finally hit bottom this winter and have begun a recovery from a brutal downfall.

According to Smith Travel Research, Miami-Dade, the region's largest hotel market, per-room revenue grew 4.2% in January to $124. That's the first gain since August 2008.

Scott Brush, a lodging analyst and president of Brush & Co. in Palmetto Bay said, ``the destination itself is in pretty good shape,'' ``the demand didn't go away."

Miami hotels show signs of recovery throughout a brutal 2009. Hotels in Miami saw per-room revenue plunge 18 percent to $120 a night, in January 2009Smith Travel said. It grew to $124 a night last month, the lowest for January since 2005.

The hotels in Miami rebound will be mostly welcome in County Hall, where hotel taxes are paying the debt on the Marlins baseball park under construction in Little Havana.

January figures by Smith Travel show how much hotels in Miami are suffering from a building boom that flooded the Miami Beach lodging market in 2008 with thousands of extra rooms just as a brutal recession began.

In January, Miami hotels sold 16% more rooms than they did a year ago, but occupancy only climbed eight percentage points to 75%. The gap is due to the 6% more rooms Miami-Dade has this a year.

Miami hotels slashed rates to fill beds and rolled back the clock on what tourists must pay for a South Florida vacation, with more competition and weaker demand. Last year rates dropped 12% and the downward trend continued in January, with rates off 6% to $166 a night.

Miami hotels charged an average of $166 a night last month the cheapest for January since 2006.

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