Booking pace slows in November for Aspen lodges | AspenTimes.com

Booking pace slows in November for Aspen lodges

The number of rooms booked for the winter in Aspen and Snowmass Village during November fell behind the pace set in November 2014, according to an extensive survey of properties in the resorts.

The pace in Aspen fell 3.3 percent in November compared with last year. The pace dropped only 0.2 percent in Snowmass Village, according to research by DestiMetrics, which sampled 18 properties in Aspen and 11 in Snowmass Village. Stay Aspen Snowmass, the central bookings agency, released the results. DestiMetrics examines occupancies and advance bookings for clients in mountain resorts in six western states.

Aspen Skiing Co. Chief Operating Officer David Perry said in a recent public meeting that the strong U.S. dollar is affecting the number of international skiers traveling to Aspen this season, particularly from Australia and Brazil, two top markets. Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, concurred. However, he noted domestic travelers are booking closer to their travel times this year, as evidenced by strong occupancy for December in Aspen.

"One trend that appears clear is the continued lackluster bookings pace of some key international markets, but it seems that some of our domestic markets are really picking up, thus the reason we seem to be seeking more pick-up closer in rather than later in the winter," Tomcich wrote in a memo to the lodging community.

Advance bookings for Aspen in December as of Nov. 30 produced a 50.8 percent overall occupancy rate, according to Tomcich. That is 9.2 percent ahead of last year.

"Most of December's gains in Aspen came prior to the 19th, while the holidays are pacing very close to last year," Tomcich wrote. The weekend following New Year's Day is "noticeably stronger," he said.

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December bookings are pacing behind in Snowmass Village. The reservations on the books as of Nov. 30 translated into a 39.6 percent overall occupancy. That is nearly 11 percent behind last year, Tomcich reported.

"This may come as a surprise to some because I've heard anecdotally from several properties that they have seen significant gains in December occupancy over the past several weeks," Tomcich wrote in his report.

Aspen and Snowmass Village showed occupancy improvements in November. Occupancy was 10.2 percent in Snowmass Village compared with 9 percent for the month in 2014.

The occupancy in Aspen was 28.5 percent in November. It was 25.4 percent for November 2014

scondon@aspentimes.com

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