The average daily room rates in Miami-Dade County rose 11.5% to $128.35 in 2005 from $115.10 in 2004, according to Smith Travel Research. Among the nation's top 25 markets, only New York and Oahu, Hawaii, posted bigger gains -- 13.9% and 13.2% respectively -- says the Tennessee-based firm that tracks the lodging industry.
Behind the rising room rates: Miami has seen an assortment of fancy hotels coming online in recent years, including several Ritz-Carltons, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Setai. More high-end digs are on the horizon, including the Shangri La and Canyon Ranch.
Meanwhile, the county's available room supply remains tight: Hotel occupancy in Miami-Dade rose to 72.6% in 2005, from 68.2% in 2004, Smith Research says. The famed Fontainebleau Resort on Miami Beach, for instance, is taking a portion of its rooms out of service for its latest construction project.