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RETAIL/TOURISM

Compiled by Chris Woodyard, Times staff writer

Hotel Occupancy: Things were pretty bad in the hotel business last year. And they haven’t gotten much better since, judging from the latest occupancy figures from the consulting firm of Pannell Kerr Forster in Irvine.

Orange County hotels had an average of 67.1% of their rooms filled in October, up a tiny 0.2% from the same recession-ridden month last year, when it was 66.9%. Still, there was one sign that hotels still exercise some leverage over the market: The average nightly room rate rose to $76.38 during October, up almost 5% over a rate of $72.79 in the same month last year.

For the first 10 months of the year, the county’s occupancy rate stood at 65.6%, off 4.6% from last year’s 68.8%.

Occupancy rates are important because every hotel has its own individual break-even point, the point at which the property becomes profitable. Many hotels have been forced into bankruptcy by low occupancies.

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