AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA Local hotel occupancy fell 9.3 percent in February compared with a year ago, a significant drop as Los Angeles County’s hospitality sector stabilizes after months of steady gains, an industry survey said. Hotels in the Santa Clarita Valley were 78.3 percent occupied in February, compared with 86.4 percent 12 months ago. The 9.3 percent dip was the highest in Los Angeles County, according to San Francisco-based PKF Consulting, an industry analyst. But average room rates in the valley were $119.45 up 11.9 percent from the same time last year and were 10.7 percent higher than January, confirming forecasters’ expectations for slight growth for the market for 2006. “Most of the growth will come from average daily rates,” said Tristine Lim, who coordinates the firm’s monthly report. Countywide, occupancy was 78.56 percent, down 0.8 percent from a year ago. The average room rate was $144.52 6.9 percent higher compared with last year. Lim said some downtown Los Angeles hotels were hit by convention cancellations, which cut into occupancy. “Usually in L.A., if there is a group that doesn’t come in this year, that affects the market as well,” Lim said. West Hollywood held the highest occupancy for the month at 84.4 percent 0.7 percent down from a year ago. West Los Angeles had the highest average daily room rates at $251.27 a 10.6 percent increase from last year. The consultant’s 2006 forecast predicts that the Santa Clarita Valley will see occupancy of 75.7 percent for the year a slight drop from the 81 percent last year. But that’s partly due to more supply from new hotels, including the 112-room La Quinta Inn & Suites and a 140-room Marriott Courtyard opening this year. The average room rate is projected at $111.32 a 3 percent increase from 2005, and the market continues to benefit from its “expanding business and residential base” and its proximity to Six Flags California, the forecast said. For Los Angeles County, the forecast predicts occupancy of 76.1 percent for 2006, with average room rates pegged at $141.63 a 5.4 percent increase from 2005. [email protected] (661) 257-5253
File photo of tained Pakistan cricketers – Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Amir and Salman Butt.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday rejected reports that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is investigating the national team’s third one-dayer against England for suspected match-fixing, saying that there is “no truth” in them.British tabloid The Sun claimed that the ICC is investigating the match, which Pakistan won by 23 runs on Friday, “after its probe exposed evidence apparently showing that bookies knew details of Pakistan’s innings before the match even began”.But PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt rubbished the report.”These are meaningless allegations without any proof. I haven’t read the report so I can’t comment any further,” Butt said.”The ICC has not got in touch with us on any such accusation. That is total imagination. There is no truth in it,” he added.The latest report comes close on the heels of the spot-fixing scandal that led to the suspension of Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and the pace duo of Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif.”The new investigation will center on suspicious scoring patterns in Pakistan’s innings and on two suspect overs during yesterday’s match at The Oval,” the report stated.”Illegal bookies in India and Dubai apparently knew in advance what would happen so they could launch a betting coup.But The Sun’s undercover team was able to pass details to ICC inspectors before the match began.”According to the newspaper, the scoring pattern of the game matched with the “target that bookies had been told in advance by a fixer.”advertisementThe tabloid claimed it “received details of calls between a notorious Dubai-based match fixer and a Delhi bookie.””We alerted ICC corruption busters led by ex-police chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan. After a frantic round of calls the ICC decided to issue a general warning to Pakistan’s players, but by then the game had started,” it said.However, Butt remained dismissive of the report and said, “No point in giving a comment on this. No truth in it.”The tabloid claimed that ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat “thanked it for its investigation and pledged tough action on any players found guilty.”It said the ICC is also “investigating whether the same cartel rigged a Test between Pakistan and Australia in July after allegedly paying players 700,000 pounds.