Record winter flows into another big summer for Snowmass
Snowmass is eying another successful summer following a record-breaking ski season for lodging and sales.
Last summer broke records on those fronts as well, and this season is on track to surpass even that success, said Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism. That’s based on summer bookings as of May 31: Some weekends this summer already have more reservations than they ended up with last year.
“We’re really optimistic about this summer,” Abello said.
Paid occupancy for the month of June is up 22.9 percent from the same month last year, even as bookings for June in Aspen have declined, according to a report by resort tracking firm DestiMetrics. Occupancy for the two communities combined is almost dead even with last year, though, according to Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass.
“Snowmass is doing great,” Tomcich told The Aspen Times. “Whether or not Aspen catches up remains to be seen.”
However, July promises double-digit increases in both communities, Tomcich said. The only timeframe currently approaching sell-out is during Aspen Ideas Festival from June 25 to July 4, he added.
That doesn’t mean the job is done, and Snowmass Tourism will continue selling those available rooms, Abello said. But the weekends with the most rooms still open in Snowmass overlap with peak leisure travel times, which puts the town in good shape, she said.
That’s after Snowmass Village achieved what might well be its most successful winter ever in terms of occupancy and sales. A report from the town’s Finance Department shows that November to April had the highest sales tax collections on record, with over $135 million in sales reported. That’s also up 8.4 percent from the 2013-14 ski season.
Overall paid occupancy was 55.3 percent for the season, a 10.7 percent increase from last year: “By far the strongest winter ever recorded by MTRip/Destimetrics over the past 10 years,” Tomcich said.
Snowmass had the highest occupancy rate of any of the western mountain resorts that DestiMetrics tracks in February, Abello said. It ranked fifth out of the 17 resorts for the overall winter, according to DestiMetrics.
Abello doesn’t believe this winter’s success can be attributed to a single thing. The economy and consumer confidence were strong this season, and while overall skier days were down, out-of-town visits were up.