The Gates—the massive art exhibit featuring saffron-colored gates strung out over 23 miles of Central park—proved to be a windfall for local hoteliers, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Tourists visiting New York City to see the exhibit helped the hotel business post record occupancy during the last two weeks of February. Occupancy averaged 84.2% during the two weeks that the project was in place, compared to an average of 71% for the preceding six weeks. These findings are based on Smith Travel Research data and PricewaterhouseCoopers interviews and analyses.

Hotels at all rate levels benefited from the increase in tourism and hotel occupancy. Even hotels in Brooklyn and New Jersey experienced higher occupancies because of the Gates,” says Bjorn Hanson, global industry leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hospitality & Leisure Practice.

The increase in New York City lodging occupancy between February 13 and February 28 averaged 15.9% versus 2004 levels, or 9% higher than the occupancy increases achieved during the first six weeks of 2005.