U.S. ski resort advanced bookings down
While western resort towns recorded record summer lodging numbers for the third consecutive summer, the winter projections appear to be less promising — at least for the moment.
A report from DestiMetrics — a Denver, Colorado-based organization that tracks mountain lodging bookings at 19 western mountain destinations — suggested that advanced winter booking trends were down 2.3 percent in September compared to the same time last year. Occupancy for the month, however, was up nearly 15 percent with revenues up 22.7 percent coming off of a strong summer.
Actual “on-the-books” advanced occupancy was only down 1.1 percent.
“It’s the first decline we’ve seen in several years,” DestiMetrics director of operations Tom Foley said, but he was quick to add that numbers could easily catch up. “We’re early enough and the numbers are small enough that there’s no reason for concern, just attention.”
Support Local Journalism
The company’s October data will be more telling, he explained.
Factors that typically influence travel booking include the Consumer Confidence Index, the state of the economy and stock market, and other governmental actions like the potential for a shutdown. For winter activities, weather is also a major factor.
“Weather almost trumps everything. It certainly trumped a bad economy,” Foley said of positive occupancy trends even during the recession. “Snow is a game changer … We have two wildcards that make or break a season — weather and economy.”
Weather was the primary reason for California resorts seeing less occupancy in recent years when compared to Colorado. It also means California destinations have less of a disparity in occupancy to recover from moving forward.
“There’s negative snow equity and undeniably it’s been a challenge in the West,” Foley said.
Promising El Niño forecasts could easily buck the trend, and with Colorado resorts starting to open this week advanced booking may also start to recover.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.