Aspen occupancy report shows one of the busiest holiday periods in a decade |

Aspen occupancy report shows one of the busiest holiday periods in a decade

Staff report

Business data are starting to trickle in that shows Aspen and Snowmass Village had one of the busiest holiday periods in at least 10 years.

Tourist accommodations in Aspen and Snowmass had a combined occupancy of greater than 92 percent for six straight nights from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1, according to a report written by Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central bookings agency. He cited bookings data collected by DestiMetrics, a firm that works with ski resorts throughout the western U.S.

This was the first time in the 10 years that DestiMetrics and its predecessor company have tracked bookings that show occupancy was that high for that long in Aspen and Snowmass, according to Tomcich.

Last year, there was a four-night stretch during the holidays where combined occupancy topped 90 percent.

Occupancy for both resorts hit a single-night peak of 96 percent on New Year’s Eve. The single-night peak was 94 percent last year, according to Tomcich.

December occupancy overall in Aspen was 52.5 percent in 2014 compared with 51 percent the prior year, according to DestiMetrics. However, the average daily rate fell 3 percent to $595 from $613, the report said.

“The reason for this is because business was up in Aspen for the first half of the month when rates were lower, but Christmas week itself prior to Dec. 27 when the rates were higher was actually slightly down for Aspen,” Tomcich wrote in his report.

In Snowmass Village, the occupancy rate for December was 45 percent in 2014 compared with 41 percent in 2013. The average daily rate increased 4.4 percent to $435 from $416.

The city of Aspen’s sales-tax report for December won’t be out until next month. That report will show if the tourists that were here for the holidays were in a spending mood.

Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said season-to-date skier visit numbers aren’t available yet.

“We had a strong holiday period, and it really pushed on into the first week of January and beyond,” Hanle said. “We’re tracking ahead of last year’s pace after the holiday.”

Looking ahead, tourist accommodations are booked in Aspen and are filling in Snowmass Village for the Winter X Games, Jan. 22 to 25, according to Tomcich.

Reservations on the books for January as of Dec. 31 are pacing 5 percent ahead in Aspen, his report said, while Snowmass is slightly behind. “While most of the month looks really strong in Snowmass, there is an especially pronounced post-X-Games trough that will be quite noticeable this year,” Tomcich wrote.

DestiMetrics issued a report Thursday that said the occupancy generated by on-the-books reservations is pacing at 9 percent above the same point last year and 14 percent ahead in revenues at the 19 mountain resorts that it tracks. The 2014-15 ski season is evolving into a strong one for resorts, according to Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics.

“The perception of good early conditions and continued positive economic news is creating the potential for some resorts to surpass the record-setting 2007-2008 ski and snowboard season if the trends continue,” Garrison said in a prepared statement.


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