October 2012 Sets Convention Records
According to VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, there were a total of 81 conventions in October with 75,582 delegates using 118,369 room nights. This helped drive average daily hotel rates (ADR) for October to their highest rates for the year, with an average rate of $188.81 per night downtown and $125.62 metro wide, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodger’s Report. The October ADR was also the highest recorded in Denver’s history for any month of the year, slightly higher than August of 2008 when the Democratic National Convention came to town.
Denver’s strong convention calendar helped drive up October room rates and occupancy both in downtown and around the metro area,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER. “We continue to see recovery this year, and overall, Denver hotels should finish 4 to 5 percent above last year for revenue per available room, or RevPAR, which is the industry standard of performance that combines occupancy and average rate,” he said.
Scharf noted that Denver did not have any huge single convention in October, but rather a series of small to medium sized groups that all fit together. “It usually takes four days to set up a big convention, and two days to tear it down, resulting in lower hotel occupancy before and after the big meetings,” Scharf said. “In October 2012, we were able to fit and squeeze nine groups together into the convention center so that there was a steady flow of business into the city.”
Scharf noted that it takes time to create a strong, successful convention month, and that VISIT DENVER has been booking conventions into October 2012 for ten years. “We booked our first convention for October 2012 in 2002,” Scharf said. He noted that, on the flip side, one of the October groups was a corporate group and was booked just four months prior. “The economy has a tremendous impact on the industry, and in 2012 we saw a resurgence in the short-term corporate marketplace. These types of meetings are the ‘icing on the cake,’ but the work required to fill up an exceptional month starts many years in advance,” Scharf said.
Among the groups meeting in October were the National Association for College Admission Counseling with 6,000 people; the Urban Land Institute with 6,000 people; LeadingAge; the National Minority Supplier Development Council; Sweet Adelines International; the American College of Emergency Physicians; and the Great American Beer Festival.