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December 25, 2013
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Weekend could bring lodging record for Aspen-Snowmass

Get ready, Aspen and Snowmass Village: This weekend could bring the greatest number of visitors to hotels and lodges in the history of the two markets.

As of Dec. 15, the advance occupancy rate for both markets stood at 91 percent for the night of Dec. 28, and it’s been climbing ever since, according to Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass. Sunday and Monday nights are shaping up to be nearly as busy, with advance rates already above 90 percent.

It’s possible that records set in late 2007 could be broken, Tomcich said. From Dec. 26 to Dec. 29 of that year, occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass Village ranged between 94 and 95 percent. To give an idea of how may visitors that could mean, 1 percent equates to about 120 people, Tomcich said.

Thus, it’s possible that the hotels and lodges of both markets will house around 11,500 guests on one or more nights from Saturday to Monday, he said.

“It’s too soon to tell if this weekend will bring a record, but it is certainly tracking that way,” he said. “We’re not there yet.”

Early snowfall has been “epic” so far this year, as Tomcich put it, and even without continued snowfall this week, the conditions will be highly favorable for snowboarders and skiers. The AspenWeather.net and Weather.com forecasts from Christmas Day through the middle of next week call for higher temperatures and sunny to partly cloudy skies.

“We are off to a tremendous start to the winter,” Tomcich said. “The skiing is phenomenal, and with this many people coming to town, the crowds will be going home with great stories to share.”

The same time frame in 2012 saw area hotels experiencing occupancy of about 91 percent, Tomcich said.

“If we can improve from 91 percent occupancy to 96 percent occupancy this year, you’re talking about an additional 600 people, which is not insignificant,” Tomcich said. “That’s why we’re working so hard to fill the holes.”

Internet sites might not show much availability, but there are still many rooms left. Tomcich said Stay Aspen Snowmass will have a live agent manning the phones today. Direct access is available by calling 800-26- ASPEN or 800-SNOWMASS.

“There is some inventory for people who need a room,” Tomcich said.


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 24, 2013 06:51PM Published Jan 6, 2014 03:56PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.