There is no doubt that the Denver downtown hotels market remained strong in the last year, despite a major influx of new inventory from the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. Many people fly into the Denver airport and get a Denver shuttle straight to Denver, for visit and pleasure, or for business. No matter the reason for traveling to Denver, there are plenty of Denver shuttles and Denver downtown hotels to stay.
At this time last year, some industry insiders feared the Denver downtown hotels market was becoming overbuilt and that occupancy rates would plummet throughout the year. Instead, the Denver downtown hotels market has remained healthy with a 70.6 percent occupancy rate through November, up 1 percentage point over the same period last year, according to the monthly Rocky Mountain Lodging Report recently released.
Experts say that it typically takes time to absorb as many rooms that are added, but the Hyatt, for example, really took off. It has been a good demand generator for the overall market. The Hyatt has done exactly what it was supposed to do, which was to prime the pump for downtown, said a local hotel consultant. This also drove the Denver shuttle service too. Much of the increased demand came from the growth in meeting business seen since the Colorado Convention Center opened its $310 million expansion in late 2004.
The total number of the Denver metro area hotel room nights booked for meetings and conventions grew from 433,829 in 2005 to 526,098 this last year, according to the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. The number of conventions hosted grew from 420 in 2005 to 538 in the same year.
This next year is on pace to be Denver's best ever for meetings, according to convention bureau president Richard Scharf. A total of 239 meetings and conventions and 517,373 room nights are on the books, 38 percent ahead of this time last year. This means that the Denver airport will see many businesspeople to their meetings, and many Denver shuttle services will have to be called upon as well.
Denver downtown hotels have 6,183 hotel rooms combined, according to experts. Soon enough, roughly 700 more are expected to come on line, including those in a $75 million Ritz-Carlton Denver, the $30 million Curtis and a $35 million Hilton Garden Inn.
Staggered growth like this is what the Denver metro area wants to see. But they are not wanting or expecting a number of Denver downtown hotels to bloom in one year.
Several analysts said they expect the Ritz to keep pushing up average daily room rates. The luxury hotel chain said it would release its pricing about 90 days before its late-summer opening.
The Denver shuttle service is also expected to rise in business, in order to accommodate for the rise in business that the Denver downtown hotels are seeing. It is hoped that the demand for Denver shuttles will match that of the demand for Denver downtown hotels.
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