According to the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau hotel survey for February, 2010, 72.3% of Manatee hotel and motel rooms were rented on the average February night this year, as opposed to only 70.3% last year. This doesn't mean hotel and motel owners are jumping with joy, however, because the average amount guests spent on rooms was down by anywhere from $2 to $11 per night, depending on location.
As usual, Longboat Key was the most expensive place to stay in Manatee County, with room rents averaging $197.42, while beachside bargain-hunters who chose Anna Maria Island lodgings only spent $159.34 per night. And, as always, those who chose to stay inland rather than on one of the islands paid even less: $103.26.
The largest local room rate drop since last year, according to this survey, was on Anna Maria Island, where rooms averaged $170.95 per night in February, 2009, and only $159.34 this February.
March will almost certainly see higher rooms rents and occupancy rates than February, not because of any change in economic conditions, but because March is typically the peak month here for hotel and motel room rentals. Starting in April, both costs and occupancy rates start to slide until they hit their annual low points in September or October, after which they tend to climb slightly in November and December.
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