Aspen/Snowmass bookings show improvement in July
July 13, 2010
ASPEN – Lodging occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass Village in July will outpace last year’s numbers for the month, but still lag well behind pre-recession levels, according to the latest reservations report for the two resorts.
Occupancies are up 35 and 27 percent in Aspen and Snowmass, respectively, for the month of July, compared to what was on the books for July 2009 as of June 30, 2009, according to Bill Tomcich, president of local reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass.
“This should be no surprise to anyone based on how busy both resorts were this past week,” he wrote in an e-mail with the latest reservations summaries. Occupancy for the Fourth of July weekend peaked at 87 percent in Aspen and 49 percent in Snowmass Village, compared to 84 percent and 40 percent for the two resorts, respectively, in 2009.
“Based on current bookings, occupancies for both resorts are expected to remain considerably stronger than last year through July 27,” he wrote. However, Tomcich noted, the improvement is relative. July 2009 occupancies were down 19 and 36 percent in Aspen and Snowmass, respectively, compared to the same month in 2008, he said.
What happens for the final three weeks of the month depends on the growing variable in resort reservations – last-minute business.
“The unknown is the last-minute bookings that will continue to stream into town,” Tomcich said.
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So far, according to Tomcich, August numbers are “not as good as July.”
The latest reservations report for Aspen, prepared by Mountain Travel Research Program, or MTRiP, indicates occupancy for the month of July, as booked by June 30, stood at almost 64 percent, up 35 percent. Occupancy in June was nearly 50 percent overall, a 4.3 percent improvement over the same month a year ago, but the average daily rate – how much guests paid to stay in Aspen – slipped 3.7 percent in June, to $261 per night.
For May and June combined, the average daily rate was down 1.5 percent, according to MTRiP.
MTRiP’s summary of summer business in Aspen (May through October), indicates occupancy will be up considerably and rates will be up modestly by the time the season is over.
According to MTRiP’s report for Snowmass, overall July occupancy, based on bookings by June 30, stood at 30 percent, up 27 percent. June occupancy, at 23.4 percent, was down about 22 percent from the same month a year ago, while the average daily rate in June was down nearly 15 percent.
Snowmass occupancy for the May-through-October period is up slightly, at the expense of the average daily rate, contrary to industry trends, according to the report.
“All in all, consumers appear willing to return to the marketplace, but it is evident that pricing power remains in their hands,” said the MTRiP report for Snowmass.