Snowmass briefs |

Snowmass briefs

Compiled by Christine Ina Casillas
Snowmass Sun
Aspen CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – A slow start to the winter hasn’t stopped people from booking reservations at hotels in Snowmass Village.

“We haven’t seen a single snow-related cancellation at (Stay Aspen Snowmass), and I’m aware of less than a handful direct to the properties,” said Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass.

The latest report from Stay Aspen Snowmass shows that December turned out to be a strong month overall for both Aspen and Snowmass, with Aspen’s overall percentage of occupancy ahead of last year at 56.4 percent and Snowmass’ overall percentages ahead at 41.3 percent, according to a summary by MTRiP Reservations Activities, a group that tracks reservation and lodging activities.

Average daily rates in Aspen and Snowmass were down by 4.6 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, the report showed.

Both resorts experienced the busiest Christmas and New Year’s holiday week since 2007-08, with Aspen’s daily occupancy peaking at 94 percent on Dec. 29 and Snowmass’ peaking at 84 percent on the same night, the report showed.

January still is pacing at 14.6 percent ahead of last year for Aspen and 6.3 percent ahead for Snowmass.

“The incremental pace of new rooms booked has slowed down since Dec. 1, especially for Aspen properties,” Tomcich said. “I will add that it slowed down even more so since Dec. 15. But since snow returned last week and the forecast looks very good, our call volume and booking pace has seen a recent surge.”

In fact, in terms of new lodging revenue booked, Tomcich said, Jan. 11 was Stay Aspen Snowmass’ biggest single day since January 2011, with nearly $110,000 in total gross sales closed.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Imagine swimming with sharks under treacherous conditions, high waves and cold waters.

Imagine conquering a water passage that could take more than 17 hours to complete.

Imagine swimming from mainland Australia to Tasmania, more than 60 miles, a route from King Island, Tasmania, to Apollo Bay, Victoria.

Tammy van Wisse was the first person to swim the treacherous Bass Strait in 1996, and it took her only 17 hours.

The Bass Strait is one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world and lies between the Australian mainland and the island of Tasmania between the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea.

The Bass Strait Challenge is coming to the Snowmass Village Recreation Center. Those up for the challenge will have until Dec. 31 to complete it.

“It’s not really the best swimming area. … There are huge waves, sharks,” Chris Woods, aquatics director for the Snowmass Village Recreation Center, said about the challenge. “I won’t tell you what kind of sharks we’ll have in our waters. … I’ll leave that as a surprise.”

And those willing to exercise the right to enter the challenge, Woods said, will receive a free T-shirt boasting, “I swam the treacherous Bass Strait, Australia, at the Snowmass Village Recreation Center,” after completion.

The challenge is free for members and facility users.

It works like this: Log your laps at the pool after each workout, and the recreation center will keep track for you.

A spreadsheet was created by the rec center to keep track of the lap lengths, and all you need to do is give the front desk your name and number, and they can tell you how many lengths you have left to complete the challenge, Woods said.

“People like to track things, and this will give them new motivation,” Woods said.

“Ms. van Wisse’s route was only 97.4 kilometers, 60.5 miles, 106,518 yards, or 4,261 lengths in our saltwater pool,” Woods said.

For more information, call 970-922-2240.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – More than 400 members of the Texas Ski Council from 16 ski clubs in Texas converged on Snowmass ski area last week for their biggest trip of the season for the council.

The Texas Ski Council is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, and members of each club have one common interest – snowsports.

The purpose of the council is to promote individual and group interest in skiing and snowboarding. And the council also manages to secure economical group travel discounts for its members with ski and travel destinations through the country, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere.

For those who attended the week-long adventure, activities included a wine-walk tour to acquaint the group with the shops in the Snowmass Village Mall. NASTAR races entertained those who wanted to complete at the club level and on an individual basis. And there was plenty of dancing, dinner and drinks, organizers said. Midweek activities included a poker run and pub crawl.

According to the Texas Ski Council marketing survey for the 2010-11 ski season, trip participant numbers were up by almost 9.5 percent. Colorado leads numbers in lodging, with 45 percent participation, a report from the Texas Ski Council showed.

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