The Real Deal Miami

Fourth helps hotels

July 08, 2008 09:20AM

South Florida’s hotels enjoyed good crowds for Independence Day weekend, but guests never stopped looking for bargains, especially in Broward County. David Hess, general manager of the oceanfront Ramada Hollywood, said many pricier competitors cut rates and forced him to lower his own. Hotels are under pressure to produce more bargains in the face of $4-a-gallon gas and higher airfares. Broward is particularly vulnerable, with about half of its tourists driving there. Hotels in Miami-Dade are less exposed to the pump: more than 90 percent of overnight visitors travel by air. About 11 percent of those hail from Europe. Figures from Smith Travel Research showed that Broward hotels saw room rates dip 1.4 percent through May, while rates grew 1.8 percent in Miami-Dade.