Summer at Western Destinations: Occupancy Flat, Revenues Up
SAM Magazine—Denver, July 21, 2017—While occupancy at Western mountain destinations for the summer months (May through October) is up a mere 0.2 percent year-over-year, aggregated revenues as of June 30 jumped 8.4 percent from the same period a year ago, thanks to robust gains in average daily rate (ADR). Occupancy for the month of June dipped 0.5 percent, but revenues were up 6.5 percent, according to Inntopia’s monthly DestiMetrics Market Briefing.
DestiMetrics, part of the Business Intelligence platform for Inntopia, tracks resort performance for approximately 290 property management companies in 20 mountain destinations across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
“A booming economy has allowed lodging properties to nudge rates up for the past year, but occupancy is lagging, which is unusual and in contrast to previous summer seasons,” said Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics. “One or more culprits could be contributing to this trend, including rate resistance, lower demand, or fewer available rooms during peak weekends and periods.”
The recent data suggests a sixth consecutive revenue record this summer, supported by strong market conditions. Occupancy could also show another, albeit smaller, rise; occupancy in every month except October remains essentially flat, with variances of less than two percent. October occupancy is currently up 8.6 percent compared to the same time last year.
The trend of flat occupancy and increasing revenues is appearing in the data for both the Far West and the Rocky Mountain regions. Aggregated results for the Far West resorts in California, Nevada, and Oregon are hovering at a slight 0.2 increase in occupancy with revenues up 6.1 percent. In Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, occupancy is up 0.6 percent, revenues, 9.0 percent.
The sudden halt to what had been a steady upward trend in occupancy could be a significant signal. “When we see a trend like this persist, there is concern that the lower income segment of our customer base may be getting forced out of the market by the steady rate increases,” said Tom Foley, director of business intelligence for Inntopia.
Foley added that key economic indicators remain positive, but “a ‘wait and see’ attitude is still in evidence in the wider marketplace.” But for the moment, “the bottom line at mountain destinations this summer is looking great,” he concluded.