by Michael J. Shapiro | May 01, 2013

Hotels in the U.S. sold a record 250 million room nights in the first quarter of 2013, according to lodging data provider STR. Occupancy increased by 1.8 percent over last year, to 57.7 percent; average daily rate rose 4.5 percent, to $108.31, and revenue per available room shot up by 6.4 percent, to $62.47. The industry gains occurred despite "stubbornly low group demand" and challenging comparable numbers from last year's demand and Easter performance, according to STR COO Brad Garner. Among the top 25 markets, Dallas led occupancy increases with a 7.1 percent gain for the quarter. Double-digit average daily rate increases were reported by Oahu Island, Hawaii (up 18.3 percent), and Miami-Hialeh, Fla. (up 12.2 percent), which also led markets in RevPAR growth: Oahu was up 18.4 percent, and Miami increased by 16.7 percent.