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South Florida hotels see stellar February

Last month, Broward County hotels had another stellar performance with 90 percent occupancy, the highest February occupancy since 2008, according to data released from STR Inc.

The jump from a year ago was substantial. February 2013's occupancy rate was only 87.4 percent. Meanwhile, the average daily room rate also increased to $164.53, up from $151.61 from a year ago.

February's results follow a record January occupancy of 83.2 percent, which jumped 3.8 percent from the prior year and marked the highest occupancy ever for that month, officials of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau recently noted.

Tourism officials have credited the harsh winter conditions across sections of the country with helping to boost visitation in the first quarter. March occupancy is also expected to climb 4 percent over 2013 to 90 percent, CVB officials said recently.

"Mother Nature has become a marketing partner," CVB President Nicki E. Grossman said. "Once our visitors thaw out, they are enjoying a destination with new appeal, including foodie experiences, live music, underground entertainment, gaming, and more."

In Palm Beach County, hotels also enjoyed 90 percent occupancy in February and an average daily rate of $216 versus 85.7 percent and $197 respectively in February a year ago month, according to the industry tracker.

Miami-Dade hotels were 86.5 percent full in February, with an average rate of $237.69.

Palm Beach county tourism boosters say in coming months the destination's promotional MyPalmBeachSummer.com will be a key tool to help drive visitation during the late spring and summer months.

The website typically showcases a variety of hotel deals valid for travel from June 1 through Sept. 30 each year.

asatchell@tribune.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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