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Atlanta hotel rates fall for 4th consecutive year

The average Atlanta hotel room has fetched $128 a night so far this year, making 2011 the fourth consecutive year that this city’s hotels have lowered rates, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The average rate was $129 last year and $140 in 2008, the story says.

Atlanta is also on the Bottom 5 list of hotels in top 25 markets that are expected to perform the worst in December on year-over-year basis next month, according to TravelClick’s forward looking data. Next month, hotel occupancy is expected to drop by nearly 8%.

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The city’s hotels haven’t been lowering rates in order to lure customers.

In fact, figures from the Atlanta Convention Visitors Bureau suggest that demand had stabilized, the article says.

The city’s occupancy in October, for instance, has held steady at 66% for the last two years vs. a low of 58% in 2009.

The bigger factors keeping rates low, as noted by the paper:

  • More business travelers now are using discount sites to find bargains.
  • Big-budget business travelers such as investment bankers who used to pay for luxury rooms have cut back.
  • Fewer rooms for citywide conventions are being booked in advance, limiting hotels’ ability to raise prices to business travelers and others who book closer to check-in day.

“Back when the market was really peaking in late 2007 and early 2008, high fliers like executives in financial services and bankers were willing to pay top dollar for a room,” Mark Woodworth, president of Atlanta-based PKF Hospitality Research, told the paper. “Those travelers who were the least price sensitive during the good times haven’t returned.”

Luxury hotel stay this weekend: $299 a night

A quick check on the Atlanta St. Regis hotel’s website shows that you can get into the new luxury hotel this Friday and Saturday night for as little as $299. The rate is for a basic room, but the room includes personal butler service and a swanky marble-covered bathroom.

Readers: Are you choosing hotels differently than, say, three years ago?

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