Strong fall bookings not enough to pull Aspen, Snowmass ahead of last year
A strong leaf-peeping season buoyed tourism in western mountain destination resorts such as Aspen in October and helped some areas set another summer-fall record for occupancy.
Occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass Village appeared to slip over the summer and fall compared with last year, despite a strong September and October.
Inntopia, a company that researches occupancy and booking trends for several client resorts in the West, said cumulative occupancy was up 0.1 percent from April through October, based on reservations as of Sept. 30. Revenue was up 7.2 percent cumulatively over that period, the company reported.
“Summer occupancy recovered in September driven by strong bookings and the net result is that a summer season that seemed likely to miss a seventh consecutive occupancy record is now almost certainly going to finish with a positive gain thanks to October growth,” said Tom Foley, vice president of business intelligence for Inntopia.
A similar pattern was reported in Aspen and Snowmass Village.
Aspen and Snowmass saw occupancy levels that slightly exceeded last year’s record numbers, according to a report by Stay Aspen Snowmass President Bill Tomcich, and set a high-water mark for total percentage occupancies for the month of September.
Aspen’s occupancy in September was up 1.6 percent from last year to 65.4 percent, the report said. Snowmass logged 49 percent occupancy for the month, up 2.6 percent. Labor Day weekend was particularly strong with occupancy at the two resorts combined peaking at 96.5 percent.
Aspen had six nights that exceeded 90 percent occupancy during September.
“It’s also interesting to note that for the second consecutive year, September was actually busier than June in Aspen,” Tomcich wrote.
Reservations on the books as of Sept. 30 for October were up 25 percent in Aspen and 13 percent in Snowmass Village compared with last season.
However, Aspen’s occupancy was down 2.3 percent from April through September and Snowmass Village’s occupancy was down 8.1 percent over that period compared with last year. Aspen was at 58.1 percent while Snowmass was at 46.6 percent.
Inntopia reported that reservations on the books for November through March were down 1.1 percent as of Sept. 30 compared with the same point last year at western resorts.
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Vail broke the $200 lift ticket barrier during the holidays last winter. Aspen hasn’t topped the $200 mark yet, but both resorts are raising their peak prices this season.