The Wallets Are Open

NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of Four Seasons Hotels Inc. soared after the luxury hotel operator said its first-quarter profit more than doubled to beat Wall Street expectations, reflecting the willingness of individuals and groups to spend at high-end properties.

Also, Four Seasons worldwide RevPAR, or revenue per available room, climbed 11.7 percent in the first quarter at its core hotels--or hotels under management for the full years of 2005 and 2006. The company attributed the increase to regional improvement and better achieved room rates and overall occupancy. RevPAR at the firm's U.S. core hotels rose 12.6 percent on achieved room rate and occupancy improvements.

Properties in Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Maui did particularly well.

The company forecasts second-quarter and full-year RevPAR for worldwide core hotels to rise in the range of 9 percent to 11 percent on occupancy and rate improvements in all regions.