Market Reports

New York hotel prices hit all-time high

Hospitality industry strong after post-September 11 slowdown

CNN The Days Inn Brooklyn sits on a charmless block in a working-class neighborhood 30 minutes by subway from the nearest tourist spot in Manhattan.

Security glass encloses the front desk. Breakfast is packaged commercial pastry, served from a rack in a closet-sized lobby. The clean but drab rooms overlook train tracks.

Everything about the place says budget travel, except the price. On New Year's Eve, rooms were going for $229 per night.

The hefty bill is no fluke. Hotel prices set wallet-busting records in New York City in 2005 after a long, slow recovery from the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The average daily price of a room in the city hit $292 in November, according to the hospitality industry analysis firm PKF Consulting. Figures for December weren't yet available, but the city is a lock to break its previous record yearlong average of $237 per night, set in 2000.

Prices were high in every corner of town, from the noisy motels jammed into industrial neighborhoods near Kennedy Airport to the palaces near Central Park.

If the cost of a room deterred some people from visiting, it didn't show.

An estimated 22 million nights were sold at city hotels in 2005, according to city tourism officials, surpassing the 21.4 million last year and the 19.9 million in the year before the terrorist attacks.

Even the $14,000-per-night presidential suite at the Mandarin Oriental, New York was occupied about 75 percent of the time in 2005.

"A-list celebrities," explained hotel spokeswoman Tiana Kartadinata. "New York has a lot of premieres."

New York has never been a cheap place to stay, but today's high prices are remarkable, considering where the city has been.

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Source - CNN

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