The pace of December hotel and lodge bookings in Aspen and Snowmass Village has risen significantly in the last few weeks, according to Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen Snowmass.
The latest monthly report from Denver firm DestiMetrics, which tracks resort activity, places Aspen’s December occupancy at 42.3 percent and Snowmass Village’s at 37.3 percent. Those rates represent a respective 6.4 percent and 7.2 percent increase compared with the same month last year. The report relies on advance-bookings data through Nov. 30.
In his emailed comments on the report, Tomcich wrote that until recently, December wasn’t looking to be a strong month, with the exception of a few days prior to New Year’s Eve. But booking momentum is continuing to build, thanks to “truly epic early-season snow conditions” and word of mouth, he wrote.
“Beginning Dec. 18, the number of visitors to Aspen and Snowmass is expected to increase steadily with every arriving flight until we reach a peak that is approaching 90 percent on Saturday, the 28th,” Tomcich said.
He noted that this season marks his 25th winter in Colorado, “and I can tell you that never have I seen this much terrain open this early, with this much high-quality snow, shared by this few people on the slopes.”
Following a busy October — normally one of the slowest months of the year — Aspen bookings were lackluster in November, according to the report. November occupancy was 19.4 percent, a 15.2 percent decrease compared with the same month last year.
Snowmass Village fared a little better, percentage-wise, but bookings in that area were still slight. The report states that Aspen’s neighbor to the west had November occupancy of 7.5 percent, an 8.9 percent increase compared with November 2012.
Aspen’s occupancy in October was 34.4 percent, up 10.6 percent over the same month last year. Bookings were said to be buoyed by the late arrival of fall colors. The solid month also was reflected in the city’s monthly consumption tax report, which showed overall retail sales of $24.4 million, an 11.6 percent increase compared with $21.9 million during the same month last year.