SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Occupancy in Snowmass hotels in January didn't change much year over year, rising just 0.1 percent from the same month in 2012, according to a report from the Mountain Travel Research Program.
However, bookings for February are indicating a dramatic improvement for this month, with a 20.7 percent increase.
Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass, said occupancies in both Aspen and Snowmass rose to the mid-90s percentile during X Games weekend, the last weekend in January. He also pointed out that that was in spite of "lackluster snowfall for much of the month and less than an overwhelming surge of last-minute bookings."
"And even more impressive was the double-digit (average daily rate) growth we saw over last year, which is at least partly the result of $100 million-plus invested this past year in hotel upgrades by Starwood Capital and Auberge Resorts," Tomcich said, referring to the renovations at the Westin and Wildwood in Snowmass Village and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. Average daily rate in Snowmass properties rose 9.8 percent in January.
Properties were 66.6 percent full in January of both years, according to the report. They were 58.6 percent full in February of last year, but now are already booked to fill 70.6 percent of their available stays this month.
"As February is welcomed with a return of some healthy snowfall, I can say that bookings for the month now look even more impressive than they had all along," Tomcich said. "In fact, with the exception of one brief hole from Feb. 19 to 22, when occupancies drop to roughly 60 percent for less than four days, Snowmass is now looking to exceed 80 percent occupancy almost every single night from now until early March."
Occupancy for the past six months is down 7.5 percent in Snowmass, although average daily rate has increased by 15.6 percent.