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Snowmass Tourism up with X Games and World Cup still to come

The January Tourism Talk from Snowmass Tourism provided insight into the current business outlook, put summer pubic works projects on the radar, and gave an update on the airport.

As of Dec. 31, occupancy in Snowmass for January is mostly above where they finished last year, according to Snowmass Tourism Director Rose Abello.

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“All of this early part (of January), we finished with higher occupancy than where we finished last year, which is good news,” said Abello.



She also noted that the occupancy percentages is not a good indicator for Snowmass because the Viewline and Wildwood were closed for renovations for a portion of last year, changing the denominator.

“When we look at December, we were actually up in terms of the number of rooms sold in the Village — just under 12%,” she said.




For January, March, and April, the number of rooms sold is up, with January up 13.34%, March up 12.67%, and April up 6.86%. February is just slightly down, with 1.82% fewer bookings than last year.

“I think we’re looking strong. I think we still have some upside in January,” said Abello, adding that X Games, World Cup, Carnival, and Mardi Gras are still on the horizon. “I’m pretty enthusiastic about how the numbers look.”

Air Update

Airport operations were significantly smoother than last year, according to Fly Aspen Snowmass consultant Bill Tomcich.

“This past holiday season was far from perfect, but it was a dramatic improvement over last year,” he said.

One of the problems Aspen/Pitkin County Airport had last year was not having enough aircraft ready to fly. To combat this issue, Skywest had spare aircraft available for United, Delta, and American Airlines.

“When things went wrong with a particular aircraft, it didn’t have as nearly as severe an impact on operations as it did last year,” said Tomcich.

Other than one severe weather day on Dec. 28, Delta completed every single flight they were scheduled to operate from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2.

In terms of the overall numbers, he said the overall holiday completion rate, from Dec. 15 through Jan. 3, was 83% as compared to 66% last year.

68% of flights were on time this year, as compared to 33% last year, Tomcich said. Inbound-flight diversions were comparable to last year, and there were 73 cancelled flights compared to 198 last year.

Air-travel numbers were down 2.3% from 2019; however, according to him, 2022 was the second strongest year ever. ASE total passengers was up 21.5% from 2021.

“I’m anticipating the first month of 2023 is also going to see some very strong numbers,” he said, noting that many passengers who arrived in Dec. 2022 flew out in Jan. 2023.

Public Works Update

Summer in Snowmass Village is set to be a busy time for public-works projects, according to town of Snowmass Village Public Works Director Anne Martens.

The two projects she focused on in her presentation were the Brush Creek Road and Owl Creek Road Intersection Improvements as well as the Highline Road and Owl Creek Road Project.

The Highline and Owl Creek Intersection Project is a joint project with some utilities and two different types of infrastructure improvements, she said. The first project they will start is with the gas lines, putting in a conduit for fiberoptic, as well as widening the shoulder for pedestrian and multi-modal access.

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There will be some road closures due to the project; however, Martens said they are working out the details to maximize the bus services still being available. The project will take place from March 2023 through June 2023.

Brush Creek Road and Owl Creek Road Intersection Improvement project involves taking out the present 72 inch culvert and replacing it with a three-sided culvert. The infrastructure improvement will be better pedestrian access adjacent to the creek, underneath Brush Creek Road. This project will take place from June 2023 to November 2023.

“There’s a lot of other capital projects going on, and that’s a great thing because that means we’re investing in our community and keeping up our infrastructure,” Martens said.

Upcoming Events

X Games – Jan. 27-29

The world’s premier, winter-action sports event returns to Aspen Snowmass Jan. 27-29, 2023!

Mardi Gras Celebration – Feb. 21-26

Over 40 years of Mardi Gras tradition returns to Snowmass Village on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Festivities include a Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert, a Bead Toss featuring the 2023 Mardi Gras King & Queen, and the culmination of the Mother of All Ascensions Uphill Race.

Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race – Feb. 25

A premier ski-mountaineering race that tests athletes’ endurance as they race in teams across all four area mountains. The grueling course covers 24 miles and more than 10,000 vertical feet. Sport Division Teams start in Snowmass Village, traverse to West Buttermilk, then on to Aspen Highlands, where they ski over to Aspen Mountain, and end on the front side of Aspen Mountain in Gondola Plaza.

In addition to the full course, participants have the option to race a shorter course, The Power of Two. This race route begins at the base of Aspen Highlands and also finishes at the Gondola Plaza in Aspen. 

Audi FIS Ski World Cup – March 3-5

Aspen Snowmass welcomes the return of the America’s Downhill™ course on Aspen Mountain — a steep, corkscrewing, technical track overlooking the town of Aspen — from March 3-5, 2023. The world’s fastest alpine racers will suit up, clip in, and compete against each other (and the clock) in men’s Super-G and downhill. Join in the fun with free outdoor concerts, events, ceremonies, and incredible skiing and riding.