Not all Glenwood Springs lodges feeling the downturn |

Not all Glenwood Springs lodges feeling the downturn

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler/Post IndependentNew Castle resident Jamie Norris takes a reservation at The Hotel Denver in Glenwood Springs on Thursday afternoon. A recent report by the Mountain Travel Research Program indicates a decline in hotel reservations for resort towns.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Many hotel and motel operators in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are feeling the economic pinch and are fearing the worst for this upcoming holiday season.

That worry is based on the unusually low reservations they’ve received so far.

A Mountain Travel Monitor report released Tuesday said consumer confidence fell 36 percent compared to the same time last year, reaching its lowest level since the report began in 1985. The report, authored by Ralf Garrison, focused on data collected by Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP), and is based on MTRiP’s advanced reservations data submitted by lodging property subscribers in the western U.S. and Canada.

Winter reservations were down 13 percent overall and 22 percent for October, compared to 2007 levels, according to the report.

At least one Glenwood Springs hotel, The Hotel Denver, has seen a drop in reservations compared to 2007 leading into the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to day shift reservations associate Kana Brevig, the hotel is usually pretty full for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But not this year.

“(Reservations) have gone down this year. It should be full by now for Thanksgiving,” Brevig said. “It’s possible we will fill up with walk-ins, but right now we are about 50 percent full.”

But others, including the historic Hotel Colorado and the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, seem to be weathering the storm.

“People could stay anywhere, but people just like to stay here because of the history of the place,” said Hotel Colorado reservations supervisor Carol Townsend.

Events like the annual holiday lighting ceremony at the Hotel Colorado keeps interest high, according to Townsend. The hotel is already overbooked by seven rooms for the Friday after Thanksgiving ” the day of the lighting ceremony, she said.

According to Glenwood Hot Springs General Manager Kjell Mitchell, the Hot Springs Lodge didn’t follow the declining trends, either. The lodge had a 4 percent increase in occupancy rate for October.

“We had a very favorable October,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he recently attended a Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association conference, where he heard comments from several colleagues from ski area resorts to support the report’s data.

“They said that their advanced holiday bookings were down 15 to 20 percent,” Mitchell said.

The MTRiP report, Mitchell said, is more relevant to ski destinations like Aspen and Vail than to niche destinations such as Glenwood Springs.

“I think the situation for the Hot Springs is that we are somewhat resilient to some of that because the attraction here is the swimming pool, regardless if there is snow or not on the mountain,” Mitchell said.

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