Expect lodging demand to peak during the upcoming 2005 holiday season. Pricewaterhouse Coopers projects record demand of an average of 2.28 million occupied room nights per night between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year’s weekend—a 3.2% increase over 2004 and a 7.4% increase over 2000. This demand should push Thanksgiving through New Year’s occupancy up to a peak rate of 50.8%, too.

“When holidays are on weekends there is more leisure travel from extended weekends and a concentration of travel in the interim week,” says Bjorn Hanson, global industry leader and partner at PwC.

Thanksgiving demand will reach a high of 9.38 million rooms in total for the four-nights between Thursday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 27. That would represent an increase from 9.15 million room nights sold in 2004. Occupancy for Thanksgiving weekend is forecast to be 52.5%, or the highest since 1999 when it achieved that same elevated level.