SNOWMASS VILLAGE -Recent snowstorms haven't just led to more enthusiasm on the slopes - they've also boosted the optimism of the local lodging industry. As of Nov. 30, December's overall occupancy in Snowmass was down 2. 6 percent from the same month last year. However, December occupancy in Aspen was pacing down by 16.5 percent, and bookings show an increase in Snowmass after Dec. 27. The recent snowfall is also a good sign for the lodging industry. Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass, said his company had its busiest day since before Food & Wine weekend last Monday, after the Aspen Skiing Co. reported 15 inches of snow on Snowmass ski area. Snowmass lodges were 4.3 percent less full in November compared to the same month last year, but the average daily rate increased by 4.7 percent. Revenue gained per available room night was about the same. December occupancy in resorts across the western mountain region was down 12.3 percent as of Nov. 30. However, the Mountain Travel Research Program reported that bookings for the period from December through May is down only 2.8 percent. MTRiP gathers data from 16 participating resort destinations. In November, the data showed occupancy to be up 7.5 percent across the region. Average daily rate also increased by 4.2 percent.
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