‘Bumper year’ for downtown hotels compared with 2011

    The downtown Chicago hotel market is gaining momentum as rooms continue to fill up with tourists, business travelers and conventioneers.

    Revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose to $124.57 at downtown hotels the first seven months of the year, up 10.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Smith Travel Research, a research and consulting firm based in suburban Nashville, Tenn. RevPAR, a key metric that accounts for both occupancy and room rate, hasn’t risen by that much downtown since before the recession.

    “Downtown Chicago has had a bumper year compared to the past year,” said Brian Flanagan, president of Property Valuation Advisors Inc., a Chicago-based real estate consulting firm. “Just by doing my Michigan Avenue walk I can see throngs of people every day on the avenue and that’s always a good sign.”

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