Aspen, Snowmass lodges and hotels a bit less full this November, but outlook is up |

Aspen, Snowmass lodges and hotels a bit less full this November, but outlook is up

People wait in line to load the Silver Queen Gondola for some of the first runs of the season on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, which was opening day at Aspen Mountain.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Combined bookings at hotels and lodges in Aspen and Snowmass Village this month are lagging behind November 2021, according to the latest local occupancy report.

As of Oct. 31, commercial accommodations between the two ski towns had a paid occupancy rate of 16% in November, which was down from the 21.5% rate last November.

Aspen and Snowmass saw a similar drop in the number of rooms booked, according to Aspen Skiing Co.’s monthly bookings summary released Friday.

Individually, Aspen had a paid occupancy rate of 23.2% in November while Snowmass stood at 8.6%

Skico announced Nov. 11 that Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area were opening ahead of schedule because of early season snowfall. Lifts started running Saturday. Aspen Highlands currently is scheduled to open Dec. 10 and Buttermilk on Dec. 17.

The report was upbeat about this season’s prospects. Looking ahead at the winter season, including November and April, which combine for roughly a month of skiing in a normal snow year, the percentage of booked rooms is slightly up.

“This is our first glimpse at all ski season months for 22/23,” the report said. “Winter is sitting at 36.2% occupancy vs 34.6% this time last year. November and December trail, while January, February, March and April are all pacing up. International visitor’s return is driving a significant amount of January business, as is a strong pick up for Gay Ski Week and visitation around X Games Aspen. World Cup is lifting March as well.”

October’s paid occupancy rate was 52.6% in Aspen and 32.2% in Snowmass. The combined occupancy rate between the two was 43.5%, the report said, noting that while the rate was down from the 47.3% showing in October 2021, more rooms were booked this past October.

The report is released in collaboration with Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Snowmass Tourism, and it is based on data gathered by DestiMetrics, which examines resort trends in the western part of the U.S. It does not factor in short-term rentals of 30 days or less.