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Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Hawaii hotel
business flat;
but rates are up

January's 6.5% gain in
room revenues offset
lagging occupancy

By Russ Lynch


Occupancy in Hawaii's hotels and resort condominiums was down slightly last month compared with January 1999, but the decline was more than made up for by higher room rates and higher revenues per available room.

Statewide occupancy averaged 70.71 percent, down less than half a percentage point from 71.08 percent in January 1999, according to a monthly report released yesterday. The average room rate of $160.32 was up 7 percent from a year-earlier $149.78.

Art The average revenue per available room was up 6.5 percent at $113.36 a day, from $106.47 in January 1999. This figure is considered a more important statistic than the posted, but often discounted, room rate because it better reflects the hotel's actual income.

The higher revenues were encouraging because they wiped out the effect of the lower occupancy, said Ernie Watari, chairman and chief executive officer of PKF-Hawaii, the accounting and consulting firm that prepared the monthly report.

"Neighbor island hotels pulled the statewide occupancy down, whereas a healthy Waikiki showing of 75.15 percent, primarily from stronger eastbound arrivals from Japan and Korea, helped boost Oahu's occupancies," Watari said.

Waikiki's occupancy average last month was up nearly three points from 72.23 percent a year earlier. That brought the Oahu average to 74.24 percent last month, up from 71.1 percent.

Oahu room rates were flat, averaging $125.19 a day compared with a year-earlier $124.77, but the average revenue per available room on Oahu was up 4.8 percent at $92.95, from a year-earlier $88.71.

At Kohala Coast luxury hotels, the average posted room rate soared 30.8 increase -- to $334.79 from $255.94 in January 1999 -- and that helped lift the Big Island average revenue per available room to $143.88, a 15.9 percent increase from $124.10.

Overall Big Island occupancy declined to 64.55 percent last month from 71.46 percent in January 1999 but Kohala Coast occupancy was unscathed by the higher rates, averaging 69.03 percent, a slight increase from 68.98 percent.

Maui occupancy was down just over four points at 70.69 percent, from 74.73 percent, but the average daily revenue per available room on Maui was up 2.5 percent at $137.92, from $134.54 a year earlier.

Kauai occupancy averaged 59.27 percent last month, down slightly from 60.93 percent in the previous January, but Kauai revenue per available room was up 10.8 percent, averaging $104.58 compared with $94.40 a year ago.

Molokai's average occupancy was down just over one point at 48.63 percent from 49.68 percent, but that island's average revenue per available room also rose, to an average of $42.55, up 10.6 percent from $38.47.

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