Credit the coast-to-coast snows in December that led to a partial rebound in occupancy and a boost for the remainder of the season, according to the monthly Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) report.
MTRiP data is derived from a sample of approximately 250 property management companies in 16 mountain communities, representing 24,000 rooms in five western states.
“What a difference a month makes,” says Ralf Garrison, MTRiP director. “Mother Nature finally delivered some much needed snow coast-to-coast just in time for the Christmas holidays and the fresh powder really helped fill some December lodging vacancies at ski resorts as well as generating some buzz and bookings for January and February.”
The December booking pace was up 10.4 percent compared to last year for arrivals in December through May 2013. The new snow gave a 3.5 percent uptick to January bookings. Even though occupancy decreased, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) posted a 2.6 percent increase compared to 2011.
Garrison said the western resorts “are more than making up for last years drought, the East is outperforming last year’s hurricane/drought/heat wave, and the Rockies are experiencing mixed results but are trending in a positive direction. He predicted “second season momentum” will continue.
Photo: Snow made the difference for lodging bookings (Whitefish/Karen Van Seters)