Occupancy report: Slow start didn’t derail ski season for Aspen, 18 other resorts | AspenTimes.com

Occupancy report: Slow start didn’t derail ski season for Aspen, 18 other resorts

Staff report

Advanced bookings at 19 mountain destination resorts in the western U.S. are pacing ahead of last season even though the phones quit ringing in November, according to a Denver research firm.

DestiMetrics said aggregated winter bookings for the participating resorts are up 2.7 percent November through April compared with last year. Revenue is expected to be up 10.4 percent, the company reported.

Bookings are up during the heart of ski season — December through March, according to DestiMetrics. They are down only on the shoulder months of November and April compared with the prior season. Aspen and Snowmass are among the resorts that DestiMetrics tracks.

Bookings in Aspen followed a similar course, according to Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations business. The ski season started slow but will pick up Dec. 27 and appears strong throughout the rest of the season, according to Stay Aspen Snowmass President Bill Tomcich.

“While overall winter season bookings remain strong, the early season softness is likely a combination of the initial uncertainty surrounding the presidential election and the warm, dry weather that persisted through much of November at most western mountain destinations.” Ralf Garrison, DestiMetrics

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DestiMetrics reported the increase in business for the season was achieved even though November was lousy for converting reservations. The actual bookings made in November for arrival any time over the winter was down almost 8 percent compared with November 2015, DestiMetrics reported.

"While overall winter season bookings remain strong, the early season softness is likely a combination of the initial uncertainty surrounding the presidential election and the warm, dry weather that persisted through much of November at most Western mountain destinations," Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics, said in a statement. "But we did see seasonable temperatures and appreciable snowfall arrive at many resorts near the end of the month and that should encourage skiers and riders to once again start booking their winter vacations."

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