S’mass hotels see boost in July | AspenTimes.com

S’mass hotels see boost in July

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

Snowmass Village hotels were 60 percent full in July, signaling what’s shaping up to be a strong summer season for the resort town.

A report produced by DestiMetrics, a resort-tracking organization, said that Snowmass’ paid occupancy was up 21.1 percent in July over the same month last year. Aspen’s paid occupancy, on the other hand, decreased by 5.6 percent.

“The fact that there were slightly fewer paid overnight guests in Aspen in July does not at all suggest that town wasn’t extremely busy,” said Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass. “In fact there were a total of nine nights in July when total occupancy in Aspen was either at or greater than 90 percent versus six nights last July.”

More owners and other non- purchasing guests boosted Aspen’s real occupancy but decreased the number of paid room stays for the month, Tomcich added. Real occupancy in Aspen was 82.3 percent in July, and Snowmass’ was 66.5 percent.

Fewer vacancies in Aspen in July compressed the demand, causing the average daily rate guests paid to increase by 9 percent this year. Snowmass Village did not experience as significant of an increase in rates, but it did experience overflow from the Aspen market because of the limited vacancies there, Tomcich said.

However, he added that the events and groups being booked into Snowmass also contributed heavily to the increased number of guests. Those include events like the Wanderlust yoga festival over the July 4 weekend, a doubles volleyball tournament, and legal and medical conference groups.

In fact, over the July 4 weekend, which is typically not that significant in Snowmass, daily occupancy peaked at 97 percent in the village and 96 percent in Aspen.

“I never downgrade Aspen’s role in our success,” said Fred Brodsky, group sales director for Snowmass Tourism and interim head of that department. “(But) I think we’ve been giving guests more compelling reasons to come to Snowmass.”

Looking ahead, the trends are expected to continue in August as Aspen’s paid occupancies are pacing 6 percent behind last year and Snowmass’ are 19.2 percent ahead.

Labor Day weekend, which this year is Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, “is again expected to be one of the strongest of the entire summer for Aspen and Snowmass combined,” Tomcich said.

The Tough Mudder obstacle race is coming to Snowmass the following weekend, and village hotels are sold out, Brodsky said. That is creating the reverse effect of overflow from Snowmass to Aspen on Sept. 6 and 7, Tomcich said.

Tough Mudder combined with other groups booked on the weekdays and the Balloon, Wine and Ferrari festivals on Sept. 12 to 14 is boosting Snowmass’ occupancy by 106 percent for the month of September, Brodsky added.