South Florida hotels were fuller last year than in 2013 — and visitors were willing to pony up more cash for rooms.
According to data from travel research firm STR, hotels in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties all showed year-over-year growth in occupancy and room rates.
For the year, Miami-Dade hotels saw occupancy increase by just about a percentage point to 78.3 percent. Average daily rates jumped by 5.8 percent to $185.12, knocking per-room revenue up by 7 percent to $144.87. December was busy but not much busier than the previous year, with occupancy pretty much holding steady at 78.2 percent and rates soaring more than 9 percent to reach almost $231 a night.
In Fort Lauderdale, hotels were 77.8 percent full in 2014, an increase of more than 4 percentage points. Rates hit nearly $127 a night, up 6.3 percent, and revenue per available room shot up almost 11 percent to nearly $99. December performance helped the full-year totals, with occupancy up almost 3 percentage points to 78.8 percent and rates at $134.13, a 7.2 percent increase.
The Florida Keys reported occupancy of 79.5 percent for the year, an increase of 1.8 percentage points. Rates jumped 9 percent to more than $255, with per-room revenue up almost 11 percent to $203.05. December occupancy of nearly 75 percent was essentially flat compared to the previous year, though rates were up more than 8 percent to $291.28.