Destination Lodging Remains Strong Through March

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SAM Magazine—Denver, March 13, 2014—Advance reservations at mountain resorts in both the Rockies and the Northeast were strong in February. As of Feb. 28, with nearly 95 percent of all winter lodging business either completed or on the books, lodging visits showed a 4.6 percent increase for the 2013-14 season (November through April) compared to last year, and a 10.4 percent increase in revenue, according to the most recent data released by DestiMetrics. Western resorts have now exceeded total year-end revenues from last winter, with more than a month of business yet to be added to the bottom line.

In addition to fresh snowfall in many regions, strong economic news was also credited with driving business to the mountains. “The economic environment remains better now than at any time since 2009,” said Tom Foley, director of operations for DestiMetrics.

Occupancy at western destinations during February was down a slight 0.6 percent compared to last February, but revenues rose 6.5 percent. Eastern resorts posted increases in both columns: a 3.4 percent gain in occupancy, and 1.9 percent in revenues.

“We were also glad to see that some of the Far West destinations have received a boost in late season business, thanks to recent snowfall that has mitigated their challenging drought conditions,” added Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics.

Reservations for March in both regions point to continued snow and economic optimism. Western resorts reported a 4.6 percent increase in reservations, and Eastern resorts, a 5.1 percent increase.

In its first look at summer bookings, DestiMetrics reported reservations at western resorts are up 11.1 percent compared to the same time last year, with revenues up an even stronger 17.9 percent.

DestiMetrics data are derived from a sample of property management companies in 19 Western mountain destination communities across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming, and in 10 destinations in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, West Virginia and Maine.