June turned out to be an extraordinary month for the hospitality industry in both Aspen and Snowmass Village, according to a local tourism official.
Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen Snowmass, provided details of the latest DestiMetrics LLC report on Wednesday. DestiMetrics is a Denver company that tracks resort activity.
Aspen’s overall paid occupancy of 60.6 percent for the month was nearly 10 percent greater compared with the same month last year, Tomcich said. In Snowmass, overall paid occupancy for the month was 36.7 percent, nearly 30 percent greater than June 2013.
“Combined with average daily rate increases of nearly 10 percent, total room revenues in Snowmass were estimated to be up more than 40 percent over last year,” Tomcich wrote in an email summary. “Aspen business was very strong in June with total occupancies at or in excess of 90 percent on five nights (compared with just two last year) thanks to three successive very strong weekends.”
Aspen’s big-draw events in June included the Cosmetic Boot Camp, the Food & Wine Classic and the Aspen Ideas Festival.
“When overall occupancies reach these levels, many properties are completely sold out, and business overflows and often spills elsewhere,” Tomcich said. “It is this spillage, combined with the many groups and special events that have been lined up to attract business into Snowmass this summer, that has led to staggering increases in Snowmass occupancy — and thus what feels like more folks in town than many can recently recall.”
He said that while it may feel as though tourism records were set in June, “the numbers actually suggest that we are merely getting back to where we once were in the not-too-distant past.”
Increased demand for local rooms has made it possible for the airlines serving the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport to add additional flights, Tomcich said. United Airlines added as many as a dozen extra inbound and outbound flights around the Fourth of July holiday weekend from Denver, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago.
“And those extra weekend flights appear to have been so successful that United has since scheduled additional weekend flights into (Aspen) from all four of those hubs right through the middle of August,” Tomcich said.
Additional air capacity, combined with the recent Wanderlust festival in Snowmass, helped boost overall Fourth of July weekend business to extremely high levels, Tomcich said, adding that the exact data on July won’t become available until the next DestiMetrics report is released in August.