According to the latest hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HP), Wyoming was among the states with most expensive hotel rates in the first half of 2009. In addition to ski tourism helping to maintain higher averages room rate across the state, prices in the capital of Cheyenne also led to a higher average rate for Wyoming as the city bucked national trends with a five per cent increase in room rates.
Wyoming took fourth place behind taking the fourth place spot behind New York hotels and accommodation in Massachusetts and Hawaii. Steve Dumaine, senior director of merchandising at hotels.com, said: “Despite fewer large cities, the more expensive lodging options in major ski destinations have helped keep the mountain states below the national average in terms of price drops. However, travelers can still get a great deal in the area. Hotels are getting more aggressive with promotions and offering added extras like resort credits and complimentary meals.”
Cheyenne was one of only five cities in the nation whose average price per room increased in January through June 2009. Salt Lake City ranked second among mountain states for least dramatic rate change with a five percent decrease in average room prices, with an average price of $117 per night.
The HPI also found that in the first half of 2009 hotel prices across the US dropped 17%. Mountain states – noted here as Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Colorado – beat the national year-over-year rate drop with Wyoming having the lowest decrease in hotel room price at nine per cent, followed by Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Montana, all decreasing by 15% or less.
Also in the first half of 2009, Denver came in 17th among the top 20 US destinations for US travelers. Despite being a favorite among US travelers, Denver saw the average hotel price fall 11% over the same period in 2008 with averages prices for a night at $116 in the first half of 2009.
Nationally, Idaho had the second least expensive hotel rates of all states with rooms on average $84 a night, which made it the least expensive state among the mountain region. Among major US cities, Boise, Idaho, has the second least expensive hotel rates, with Albuquerque as having the lowest average price for the first half of 2009, with the average price of $81 per night. Helena, Montana, ranked fifth overall with rooms averaging $85 per night a drop of 26% from the previous year.
The hotels.com HPI tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than advertised rates, using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets in which hotels.com operates. The HPI report issued today examines hotel prices paid at 78,000 hotels across 13,000 locations around the world for the period January to June 2009, compared to the same period the year before.
The international scale of hotels.com in terms of both customers and destinations makes the HPI one of the most comprehensive benchmarks available, as it incorporates both chain and independent hotels, as well as specialty lodging options such as vacation rentals and bed and breakfast properties.