Jill Beathard

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July 17, 2012
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Lodging up in June despite closure of two hotels

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Hotels in Snowmass Village were 36.4 percent full in June, a 47.2 percent increase from the same month last year, according to a report from the Mountain Travel Research Program.

The statistics reflect the fact that are 25 percent fewer rooms available this year because the Westin, formerly the Silvertree, and Wildwood are closed for renovation. There were 10 percent more actual overnight visitors lodging in Snowmass Village in June.

"Snowmass' astounding increases approaching 50 percent are a function of the fact that there are 370 fewer rooms available in Snowmass this summer because of the Westin and Wildwood remodels and the resulting compression into the remaining properties," said Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass. "But in light of that fact, there were still close to 10 percent more actual overnight visitors into Snowmass during June despite the fact that there were roughly 25 percent fewer available rooms."

Susan Hamley, director of Snowmass Tourism, said her department was interested to see if people would choose not to stay in Snowmass Village because they preferred one of the two hotels that were closed.

"That doesn't seem to be the case," she said. "As a matter of fact, we're tracking up."

Occupancy for the summer to date is up 43.3 percent over the same timeframe in 2011. The average daily price for lodging is up 16 percent, averaging $113 so far this summer.

According to the report, as of June 30, occupancy for the month of July was at 44.6 percent. Hamley said last July ended just slightly higher than that, so the month is sure to end higher.

Occupancy was close to 60 percent the week of July 4, Hamley said. The weekend prior to the holiday was down from the same time last year. Hamley said in 2011, the Eco Music Festival added to tourism that weekend. She also said the Fourth of July weekend isn't as big for tourism in Snowmass Village as it is in Aspen.

Lodging properties in Aspen saw an increase of 18.6 percent in June. Summer occupancy in Aspen is up 22.2 percent as of June 30, and the average daily rate at $247 is up 5.1 percent.

For western mountain destinations overall, data released by MTRiP from properties in 16 communities indicate that occupancy was up 17 percent from June 2011. The monthly report indicates that occupancy in those communities for July is up 9.6 percent from the same month last year.

Hamley said bookings were already up for the week of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which has a stage end and a stage start in Aspen. She said Aspen properties will fill up first and then Snowmass Village will "get some spillover."


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 17, 2012 06:10PM Published Jul 17, 2012 06:08PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.