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The Colorado Springs hotel industry almost always thrives in April as a result of the annual Space Symposium, but add a world championship to the mix and you end up with the best April in 21 years.

The percentage of rooms filled last month rose to 70.4 percent from 65.8 percent in April 2016, the highest for any April since the occupancy rate hit 74.3 percent in 1996 and the third highest since 1990, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. The occupancy rate for the first four months of the year rose to 60.3 percent from 58.4 percent during the same period in 2016. The average room rate for April jumped 7.9 percent to $105.98 and for the first four months of the year is up 6 percent to $98.12 with healthy gains from both limited- and full-service hotels.

Local hotels benefited from both record attendance of 14,000 at the Space Symposium and more than 2,500 participants and out-of-town visitors for the International Skating Union World Synchronized Skating Championships, said Doug Price, CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Occupancy gains were not limited to large hotels but spread throughout the community at all levels of hotels, so business is being driven as much by leisure visitation as well as group and business travelers," Price said Wednesday in an email statement.

Statewide hotel occupancy fell in April for the second time this year to 63.6 percent from 64.3 percent in April 2016 with the average room rate edging up just 0.2 percent to $133.12. The state's occupancy rate for the first four months of the year is still up to 64 percent from 63.5 percent from the same period a year ago, despite declines in the Denver area and the state's major ski resorts. The state's average room rate so far this year is up 2.7 percent to $158.99.

The Colorado Springs numbers don't include The Broadmoor hotel or Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which are listed in the "other resorts" category with Colorado's major ski areas, or the Great Wolf Lodge.

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