Hotel booking data from Smith Travel Research over the past several years shows that the weekend is a top generator of occupancy and rates: In 2012, hotels in Miami-Dade were more than 94 percent full with rates that averaged about $250 a night. The year before, occupancy topped 95 percent at rates over $220 a night.
Based on surveys of about 40 hotels, the tourism bureau is expecting hotels to be 93 percent full this weekend.
At the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, about a block from the arts festival, all 115 rooms are nearly sold out at rates at least 10 percent higher than last year, said sales and marketing director Will Wiest.
In Miami Beach, the 250-room Palms Hotel & Spa at 30th Street and Collins Avenue is expected to sell out. Sister property Circa 39 Hotel is already fully booked, said Hamid Abdulhafid, corporate general manager of both. About 55 percent of the hotels’ business this weekend is for the boat show; rates are up about 10 percent compared to last year.
Even though it’s not directly adjacent to any of the main events, Kimpton’s Epic Hotel in downtown Miami will be full all weekend, too.
“We’re probably having the best Presidents’ Day weekend ever,” said Eric Jellson, area director of sales and marketing. Occupancy for the 411-room hotel is up about 30 percent, and rates jumped 20 percent over last year to about $500-$600 a night.
Jellson said he believes he can thank the healthier economy, publicity from the Orange Bowl and BCS National Championship games in Miami earlier this year, and snowstorms in the Northeast for the boost. He said he’s not sure how much can be attributed directly to the various events in town.
“It doesn’t hurt that the cultivation of all those things are going on at the same time; it doesn’t hurt that the weather has been great,” he said. “I don’t think it’s any one thing in particular.”