Aspen occupancy bounced back with March snow
Occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass Village bounced back with the return of snowfall in March, according to the latest report by Stay Aspen Snowmass, the central bookings agency.
Occupancy was 75.8 percent in February for Aspen properties, down 2.7 percent from the previous year, Stay Aspen Snowmass reported. Occupancy was down 6.7 percent in Snowmass Village to 77.7 percent.
The prolonged closure of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon combined with a shortage of snow after Feb. 3 likely caused the bookings to fall, said Stay Aspen Snowmass President Bill Tomcich. Resort travelers are getting savvy about waiting for excellent conditions on the slopes before they pull the trigger.
Tomcich closed his February report by saying he felt the slow down was an anomaly produced by unusual circumstances. In his March report, released Wednesday, he said he was pleased to report that was the case.
“When snow returned in March, so did the bookings,” Tomcich said. Last minute bookings for March that were made in March were up “quite dramatically” in Snowmass, he wrote.
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Nevertheless, overall paid occupancy in Aspen was “just a fraction” higher than last year at 72.9 percent, he reported. Snowmass was “just 2.1 percent shy of last year” at 71.9 percent.
“The third week of March was especially strong in both Aspen and Snowmass, which was expected with Easter Sunday falling on the 27th,” Tomich wrote in his report.
The last week of March was down in Snowmass Village because the huge disabled veterans conference came to town in April this year.
April occupancy looks “quite impressive,” according to Tomcich, though he acknowledged, “We are now entering our quiet season.”
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The Aspen Filmfest program, which opens Tuesday night with the Jessica Chastain-led drama “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” is a tribute to the founder, Ellen Kohner Hunt. The festival will also recognize the memory of Hunt with “Ellenfest” on Thursday.