Snowfall Down, Revenues Up at Western Mountain Resorts

SAM Magazine—Denver, Dec. 18, 2017—As of Oct. 31, winter season occupancy at mountain destinations in eight western states showed a slight decline year over year. But as of Nov. 30, that trendHN destiimetrics 121817 has reversed—despite mild weather and a general lack of early-season snowfall in the West, according Inntopia’s monthly DestiMetrics Market Briefing.

For the month of November, occupancy was up 7.1 percent and revenues were up 11.4 percent year over year. Occupancy for the full winter season, November through April is up 2.8 percent, and the average daily rate (ADR) has climbed 4.1 percent, leading to an aggregated revenue surge for the season of 7.5 percent.

“Considering that last month’s data showed a year-over-year decline in occupancy compared to the previous year, the booking trends through Nov. 30 are definitely good news,” reported Tom Foley, vice president of business intelligence for Inntopia. “However, the key to a successful season depends largely on how December fares. Since there isn’t a pre-Christmas school break this year, much of that business is shifting to the first week of January, and if the snowfall fails to materialize, we can expect a reversal of this month’s gains,” he cautioned.

Overall, November was a good month. Bookings made during November for arrivals in the month were up 23.2 percent, while bookings for arrivals for the six-month period are up 15.8 percent compared to the same month last year. Many of the bookings are due largely to the long-distance destination traveler.

“The establishment of a strong booking base early in the season, and a shift to occupancy gains from last month’s declines, provides an insurance policy against potential weather or economic challenges later in the season,” said Foley. “However, all this data was collected through Nov. 30, and in the past two weeks, trends may have started shifting based on both snowfall and the holiday schedule this year.”