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by Michael J. Shapiro | September 18, 2013
Hotel occupancy for the top 25 U.S. markets reached 71.1 percent from January through July of this year, according to lodging statistics provider STR, marking a return to the industry's pre-recession peak. But the rebound has been driven by transient business, as discussed in a presentation last week at STR's Hotel Data Conference entitled "On a Roll: A Look at the Top 25 Markets." Group business was referred to as the markets' "kryptonite," according to STR subsidiary HotelNewsNow.com: group occupancy dropped 1.9 percent in the top markets, year-over-year, through July, while transient occupancy increased by 3.6 percent. Revenue per available room grew by 8.4 percent for transient business, compared to a 2.4 percent increase for groups. The average daily rate for all business combined has rebounded, although not as strongly as occupancy: The ADR through July of this year reached $132.89, short of the peak of $134.24 notched in September 2008.