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Room rates still rising in South Florida hotels

Hotel room rates climbed in March, according to travel research firm STR. In this file photo from March, a fan enjoys the view of Robin Schulz on the Main Stage during day three of Ultra Music Festival.
Hotel room rates climbed in March, according to travel research firm STR. In this file photo from March, a fan enjoys the view of Robin Schulz on the Main Stage during day three of Ultra Music Festival.

Hotel room rates throughout South Florida continued to soar in March even as occupancy dropped in some markets, according to data from travel research firm STR.

Miami-Dade hotels were 84.4 percent full last month, a drop of 1.7 percentage points compared to the same time in 2014. But average daily rates increased 7.4 percent to $255.55, sending the key measure of revenue per available room up more than 5 percent to $215.75.

Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said hotel supply in Miam-Dade actually increased 3.3 percent year-over-year in March, and the destination sold more room nights than it did a year before.

But with the added inventory, overall occupancy showed a dip. Aedo said the Miami area had the highest daily rates and per-room revenue of the top 25 hotel destinations in March.

“Our occupancy has been relatively flat for a while, which is ok by the hotel perspective as long as they can push the pricing power,” Aedo said. “We have more business in our hotels and we have a lot more hotel rooms and we’re charging more than ever.”

In the Florida Keys, occupancy was 88.2 percent, a drop of 1.8 percentage points. Like in Miami-Dade, the number of rooms and actual demand were up. And rates jumped 7.4 percent to $351.61, driving per-room revenue to $310.29.

Broward County saw increases in occupancy as well as rates. Hotels were 88.4 percent full, up one percentage points. Rates increased 9.2 percent to more than $175, while revenue per available room jumped more than 10 percent to almost $155.

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