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Friday, September 22, 2000

Hawaii hotels
getting busier

Statewide occupancy
climbed in August for
the 8th straight month

By Russ Lynch

For the eighth month in a row, Hawaii hotel occupancy was higher in August than it was in the year-earlier month, producing a statewide average of 81.9 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points over the 78.7 percent level reported for August 1999, according to the research firm PKF-Hawaii Inc.

Room rates were up throughout the state, and if business keeps on the track it has held so far this year, 2000 will be a record year for tourism, said PKF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ernie Watari.

"It should be noted, however, that August's year-over-year increases were not as large as the past several months and "cautious optimism' should be the phrase of the month as we move into the traditionally slower autumn "swing season' starting in September," Watari said.

Maui was the only island to show a decrease in occupancy from the previous August and that was only a slight dip to 84.8 percent from 85.1 percent.

Oahu had a strong gain of 5.7 percentage points to 82 percent last month from a year-earlier 76.3 percent.

The Big Island advanced slightly to 77.1 percent from 76.6 percent.

Kauai had an August average of 83 percent compared to a year-earlier 80.1 percent and Molokai occupancy moved up 4.3 points to 39.5 percent last month, compared to 35.2 percent in August 1999.

The statewide room-rate average rose 4.8 percent to $157.07 from a year-earlier $149.83, with Maui and Kauai showing the largest increases.

Maui averaged $196.47 per room per day, up 10.1 percent from $178.37 in the previous August. Kauai's average room rate last month was $175.92, up 9.8 percent from 160.21 in the year-earlier month.

Oahu's average room rate was $125.43, up 1.3 percent from a year-earlier $123.77, and Molokai averaged $78.57 per room per day, up 4.6 percent from $75.08.

PKF has reported on the hotel industry since 1972 and the August report was based on a survey of 147 hotels and resort condominiums with a total of 40,003 rooms, or 57 percent of the rooms available statewide.

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