After a tough couple of years of diminished business and leisure travel, new data from CBRE projects hotels in the Denver area will begin recovering next year.

Several lodging performance metrics are expected to rebound above pre-pandemic levels by 2024, according to CBRE, which released its latest hotels research report last week.

Hotel occupancy in Denver is expected to rise 7.7% this year, averaging 63% for 2022, then climbing steadily to 72% in 2024, just short of the pre-pandemic level of 73% average occupancy.

And although there’s no question that the pandemic significantly impacted hotels in metro Denver, especially those in the Central Business District that usually rely on business and convention travel, the data shows that some of the persistent vacancies are tied to new hotel construction.

“Denver’s recovery trails the national forecast due to the large amount of new supply introduced into the market within the past five years, or that was in the construction pipeline prior to the onset of the pandemic,” CBRE Colorado Valuation and Advisory Services Vice President Zachary Alm said in a statement.

“The bulk of the new supply since 2017 largely consists of upper and mid-priced properties, categories most negatively impacted by the pandemic. The good news is that upper and mid-priced properties are forecast to see the largest gains in demand and [revenue per available room] in Denver over the next five years,” Alm said in the statement.

Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, is a key demand indicator for the hotel market, in addition to offering insight into how much hotels are able to charge, along with average daily rate, or ADR.

Denver’s hotel market is projected to exceed its pre-pandemic ADR in 2023, reaching $139, while RevPAR is expected to take another year to fully recover, reaching 2019 levels in 2024 at $105.