This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In what could be the final February before the Outdoor Retailer trade show moves its winter market out of Salt Lake City, hotels around the capital city had a banner month.
Salt Lake City hotels filled 78 percent of their rooms on a nightly basis last month, up from 72.6 percent in the preceding February. Hoteliers also enjoyed a substantial increase in the amount they were able to charge per night, with the fee rising from $113.65 in February of 2016 to $120.27 last month.
The rest of the state didn't do as well in February but also saw a boost in business, according to the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. Nightly occupancy rose to 71.9 percent last month from 69.3 percent in the same month a year earlier, while room charges went from $131.71 to $136.94.
Results were mixed in other parts of Utah.
Overnight stays in Ogden jumped from 62 percent of capacity to 67 percent, while Logan's occupancy rate climbed 1.8 percent to 58.3 percent. Other parts of Utah, which would include places like Moab, Springdale and Torrey, had a solid month with occupancy levels reaching 43.4 percent compared to 36.5 percent a year earlier.
Cedar City had the slowest month among the state's larger cities. Hotels there filled just 44.6 percent of their rooms nightly last month, down from 53.6 percent the previous February. Occupancy also dropped in Davis County (4 percent) and Utah County (1.4 percent).
The Lodging Report said Utah's mountain resorts had 70.8 percent occupancy nightly, up from 69.2 percent in February 2016. Room rates rose nearly $7 a night to $332.
Across the West, said lodging-industry monitor DestiMetrics, winter occupancy levels through the end of February were essentially flat, up 0.3 percent over the previous year. But hoteliers were still happy because nightly room rates were up 7.3 percent.
DestiMetrics Director Ralf Garrison expressed concern, however, that the rate of bookings in February for rooms the rest of winter and into early summer was down 12.1 percent from last year.
"Five of the next six months show significant declines," he added, the exception being reservations for April, which had a 19.8 percent increase.
"Snowfall and economic or geopolitical forces have been inconsistent this season and we're seeing inconsistent results as well. Growth in occupancy has been minuscule while aggregated revenue continues to climb 97.2 percent," Garrison said.
"Combined market forces, political shifts and weather anomalies have all had an impact on this season's performance resulting in a slow start, strong mid-season growth and signs that the end of the season is slowing considerably as resorts focus on March visits, school breaks and a late Easter," he added.