December 2021 was the first month to show double-digit improvements in occupancy, rate, demand, and revenue comparing against the same month from 2019, likely making it the best December for hotel performance of any year on record. The strong performance in December capped a year of significant growth from 2020, approaching but not quite reaching some records for hotel performance set in 2019.

According to STR, December hotel demand was up 16% compared to the same month in 2019. ADR crept up to $129/night, 21% higher than 2019, continuing an uptick in ADR and matching trends beyond Alaska. Revenue was $19.5 million. Interestingly, the days of the Christmas and New Years holidays were strong. Historically, those dates are quieter ones for Anchorage hotels.

While December makes up a relatively small slice of annual hotel revenue in Anchorage - just 6% - it's a significant, positive indicator at the end of a year that exceeded many expectations for hotel performance. Year to date, hotels in Anchorage are just -1% off 2019 in terms of demand, and only -2% off revenue compared to 2019.

Only time will tell whether December's strong show is a sign of a return to normal, or a month's reprieve in the face of COVID.

Not sure what these terms mean? Check the guide to hotel performance.