2007 Good Year for Local Hotels

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The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau says 2007 was a record year for hotels.

It says hotel occupancy rates were way up for the year. As a result, the city saw a 24 percent increase in the lodging tax it collects.

Officials with the VCB say they believe the increase is a reflection of the hard work places like the Colorado National Monument, Colorado Wine Country, and Downtown Grand Junction have done to boost tourism.

They also say with the booming energy industry, oil and gas workers are keeping hotel rooms full.

They say if 2007 is any indication, the outlook for 2008 is a good one.

"We're thrilled for this next year," said VCB spokesperson Jennifer Grossheim-Harris. "We think we've got some great programs lined up, and we're certainly planning on being busy again. We're not seeing this slow down."

The VCB says it expects two to four new hotels to be built over the next five years. It says the Wine Country Inn near Palisade should be be open sometime in August of this year.

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