Final toll — winter occupancy in Aspen, Snowmass down 22.5%
Aspen and Snowmass Village lodges and hotels saw their occupancy tumble by 22.5% for the ski season, according to a report released this week.
Occupancy in properties at the two towns combined was 48.7%, according to the season-ending report by Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations service.
Aspen recorded a 49% occupancy rate, down 21.7%. Snowmass Village properties finished at 48.3% occupancy, down 23.4%.
The lodging industry was achieving another strong performance until the coronavirus crisis struck in March.
“It was truly a tale of two winters, so we will break it down both by how we were trending at the end of February as well as what happened once the pandemic took root,” wrote the report’s authors, Kristi Kavanaugh, Aspen Skiing Co.’s vice president of sales, and Lise Adams, director of Stay Aspen Snowmass.
The Feb. 29 data showed the lodging industry “pacing strong against last year’s astounding record performance,” they continued. Aspen and Snowmass properties achieved a winter record of 62.8% occupancy in 2018-19, so matching those numbers well into the 2019-20 season was a lofty accomplishment.
“The pandemic started to impact occupancy rapidly in early March and the order to close ski resorts on March 14 sealed our fate that last year’s remarkable performance would not be repeated,” the report said.
March 2020 was the worst for the month since statistics have been compiled, the report said, in contrast to March 2019, which was the best ever. Collectively, occupancy in the two towns was down 57% from last year.
Paid occupancy essentially disappeared in April.
The travel and tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and related economic collapse. That’s reflected in future bookings for Aspen and Snowmass Village.
“Summer is currently pacing at 10.1% occupancy, down 64.3%,” the report said. “Some good news is that bookings are trickling in for summer, fall and winter so travelers are regaining confidence.”
The Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up Aspen are teaming up to present two shows in December: Big Head Todd and The Monsters on Wednesday, December 27, and Ozomatli on Saturday, December 30.