June Hotel Occupancy Rate Up

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Women bowlers and an influx of tourists helped boost occupancy in Reno-area hotels and motels 7 percent above the numbers in June of last year.

They also paid a little more. The Reno-Sparks Convention&Visitors Authority said visitors paid an average of $59.41 a night, up 77 cents from last June, when there was no bowling tournament.

The boost in June visitors was not enough to salvage the fiscal year though, which ended that month.

For the fiscal year, rooms paid for in the county were down 1.9 percent from the prior fiscal year, and taxable revenues were down 2.3 percent.

Some local hotel operators reported an increase in leisure travelers booking rooms in June. Leisure travelers are not affiliated with a convention or tourist group.

That and the month's occupancy numbers were seen as positives by tourism officials since June also saw the opening of the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, Calif., north of Sacramento.

"Certainly Thunder Valley is a concern, no question about that,"said Kim Stoll, spokeswoman for the Peppermill Hotel-Casino."But we are very happy with the recent results."

"It was better than we anticipated,"said Lynne Keller, executive vice president and general manager at the Gold Dust West Casino and Inn.

Keller said that her 101-room property didn't have many guests who were participating in the nearly four-month Women's International Bowling Congress tournament or the Reno Rodeo, which also took place in June, but that business likely benefited from overflow from other hotels.

The RSCVA had $23.4 million in revenue to tax from the room industry in June, $1.5 million or 6.9 percent more than last June.