Hotel industry looking up

Here’s a bit a good news — the Wall Street Journal says "things are beginning to look up for the hotel industry" in the U.S.

"Smith Travel Research said Tuesday that increases in demand prompted it to revise upward its outlook for this year and next. The lodging research and consulting firm now expects U.S. occupancy levels in 2010 will rise 3.6% from last year, to 56.7%. In April, the firm had predicted occupancy levels for this year of 55.8%. Revenue per available room, a gauge of hotel revenue, is expected to rise 3% this year to $55.13. The firm’s previous forecast was for $53.22."

Every hotel exec in Las Vegas hopes that upward trend in rate extends proportionally here. Nothing against visitors who drag their own ice chests through the casino to their Bellagio luxury suite, but that’s not the business model upon which modern Las Vegas is built.

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