Lodging occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass during the USA Pro Challenge is shaping up to be similar to 2013, said Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass, during an Aspen City Council work session Tuesday.
For the weekend in Snowmass leading up to the Aug. 18 and 19 events, Tomcich said he anticipates occupancy around 80 percent, while he estimates around 85 percent for Aspen.
In 2013, the combined occupancy-rate percentages from both markets showed 77 percent the first day and 67 percent the second day, which outpaced 2012’s figures of 48 percent and 62 percent on the comparable nights of Aug. 22 and 23. That’s according to figures from DestiMetrics LLC, a firm that specializes in measuring hotel and lodge performance at resort destinations.
In July, the council approved spending $215,000 on the bike race. The total cost of the event to the local community is $400,000.
Combined with late-minute spectators arriving in Aspen, Tomcich said he is expecting one of the “busiest weekends of the year” in Aspen and Snowmass.
Mayor Steve Skadron asked what occupancy numbers looked like on comparable dates before the USA Pro Challenge. Tomcich said the weekends were generally strong, but the weekdays following have picked up. In Snowmass — since he began tracking the data in recent years — occupancy has never been above 40 percent on a comparable weekday in late August, Tomcich said.
“So we can draw direct connection to our community’s local investment in this race in the amount of return?” Skadron asked.
“No question,” Tomcich said.
The event will begin with a circuit race that starts and finishes in Aspen and swings through Snowmass Village. The racers will make three laps on a 22-mile route that is the same as last year’s circuit.
Stage 2 will start in Aspen and head downvalley on Highway 82 rather than climb Independence Pass. The racers will turn onto Highway 133 at Carbondale and grunt up McClure Pass then turn onto the Kebler Pass road to make their way to Crested Butte and, ultimately, Mount Crested Butte.