Attendees of the Lodging Industry Investment Council's latest meeting discussed improving fundamentals in the hotel industry. Vail Brown, a vice president at STR, said that hotel occupancies in the upscale and luxury segments have reached or surpassed peak levels in 2007 and are hitting 70% or higher. Upper-midscale hotels have reached a new peak in average daily rates at $96 as of August. "The transient consumer is driving this; there's no surprise there. Demand on the group business side has come back stronger than we expected, but we're still four percentage points away in occupancy [for group] from where we were in 2007," Brown said.

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