Whistler had the highest average hotel room rate in the country — $163.61 — for the first half of 1998, according to a Royal LePage report released Monday. That figure doesn’t quite match the Whistler Resort Association’s data because the WRA keeps track of room rates for the winter and summer seasons, rather than over six months. It could be that Royal LePage averaged Whistler’s achieved rate over each of the first six months. Whistler’s achieved rate for last winter, according to WRA statistics, was $181.32. That’s down from an achieved rate of $186.71 in the winter of 1996/97. Overall room nights this past winter increased 18 per cent over 1996-97, the largest percentage increase of the decade. The achieved rate for the summer of 1997 was $113.94. The rate for this past summer will be available next month. According to the Royal LePage report Alberta resort hotels had the second highest average rate in the country for the first six months of 1998, $149.13. Downtown Vancouver hotels had the third highest average room rate, $132.48. However, the report warned that demand for Vancouver hotel rooms is not keeping pace with the growth in rooms, as a number of new downtown hotels will come on line in the next 18 months.