Hotel owners in Los Angeles County rang in the new year on a bright note.
The hotel occupancy rate in the county jumped 6.2%, to 92.9% on Dec. 31, making Los Angeles one of the hottest New Year's Eve destinations in the country, according to the hotel research firm STR Global.
Los Angeles ranked higher than Miami (91.2% occupancy), New York (89.9%) and San Francisco (82.3%) on New Year's Eve but behind Orlando, Fla., (96.3%), Honolulu (94.6%) and Anaheim (93.3%), according to STR Global.
The increase in hotel occupancy may be a sign that Los Angeles is gaining popularity as a place to celebrate. But the news is tempered by the fact that Los Angeles has far fewer hotel rooms than many major tourist destinations.
Los Angeles County has 96,967 hotel rooms, compared to 152,275 rooms in Las Vegas and 144,125 rooms in Orlando. Orange County, where Anaheim is located, has about 55,000 hotel rooms.
The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board attributed the increase in hotel occupancy to the warm weather on New Year's Eve, the Rose Bowl game that pitted Stanford and Michigan State and the New Year's Eve celebration at Grand Park in downtown L.A.
Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said GQ Magazine called Los Angeles "America's next great city."
"That’s because the fireworks are going off throughout L.A. with all of the new development and attractions, drawing people from around the world and making L.A. a bucket-list destination for vacations and big holidays like New Year’s Eve,” he said.
In fact, the occupancy rate in downtown L.A. hotels jumped from 90.9% in 2012 to 94.6% this year, according to STR Global.