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Hurricane Irma hurt hoteliers in September

Hotel occupancy rates dropped in Miami-Dade and Broward from last year's levels
October 21, 2017 10:00AM

The Pier 66 Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale is expected to reopen Monday.

Hurricane Irma blew a hole in South Florida’s hotel industry last month.

Irma hit South Florida on Sept. 10 and depressed hotel occupancy rates in Miami-Dade and Broward counties due to hotel property damage and evacuations ahead of the hurricane.

Tennessee-based STR, a hotel industry research firm, reported that the September occupancy rate in Miami-Dade fell to 59.3 percent from 68.4 percent last year. But the average daily room rate rose to $144.48 from $140.49 last year.

The September vacancy rate in Broward dropped to 63.7 percent from 67.8 percent last year, and the average daily room rate increased to $116.03 from $105.47 last year.

In Palm Beach County, however, hotel occupancy increased to 64.1 percent from 61.9 percent last year. The average daily rate rose to $120.85 from $116.57 last year.

Wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma temporarily closed several South Florida hotels including the Pier 66 Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale, which is expected to reopen Monday. Seventy of its 382 rooms will remain temporarily closed, however, due to water damage from a breached roof.

The Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale remains closed for repairs to water-damaged rooms on higher floors. The general manager, John Moorhead, told the Sun-Sentinel the 253-room, all-suite hotel on Cypress Creek Road may reopen in late November.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that the Bahia Cabana Resort along Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront will remain closed due to hurricane damage “until further notice,” according a notice posted on the front door of the 70-room resort. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth