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by Michael J. Shapiro | March 03, 2010

U.S. hotel rates fell 14 percent in the second half of 2009 compared with the previous year, according to the 2009 Hotel Price Index released this week by Hotels.com. The HPI is an annual report that compiles hotel rates actually paid by customers through the site. According to the study, U.S. rates have fallen to levels last seen in 2004, the year the study was first released. On a positive note for hoteliers, the price drop is slowing, indicating a potential leveling off in the coming year.