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Hotel occupancy down slightly for 2014

By Bryan Richardson

Occupancy is down this year at local hotels, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The city has 1,263 hotel rooms, and on average only 563 of those were filled, according to data through February.

That’s an occupancy rate of 44.6 percent, down from 58.7 percent in 2012 and 56.3 percent in 2013.

Also, the average daily rate is down to $84.14 from $86.15 in 2012 and $89.36 in 2013.

CVB Director Karen Hibbard said this indicates a need for additional businesses to support the growth in Manhattan’s hotel industry.

The number of hotel rooms will grow again when Bluemont Hotel opens in October.

Hibbard said the Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired an intern to research groups that could have conferences and events in town.

“As our community is growing, so are our many options and reasons that people meet here in Manhattan,” she said.

Hibbard attributed some of the decline so far this year to bad weather.

“Across the board, everybody’s numbers weren’t looking good in January and February from what they were last year and the year before last,” she said.

The report also included data on some of the areas of revenue through March 15:

• Nearly $3.2 million was spent by 3,980 attendees at hotel events.

• An estimated $1.49 million came from youth sports. (The 2A state basketball tournament alone brought approximately $1 million.)

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