Mountain Travel Continued Recovery in July

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SAM Magazine-Denver, Aug. 22, 2011-According to the most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP), reservation activity in July was up 8.2 percent compared to July 2010, thanks in part to the 4th of July holiday falling on a Monday, creating a three-day weekend. The strong results continued the trend of the past six months, with actual occupancy from February through July up 5.1 percent. Average daily rates remained essentially flat for both July and the past six months.

The report reflects data from 265 property management companies in 15 mountain destination communities across Colorado, Utah, California and Oregon.

Looking forward, MTRiP said August reservations are up 7.4 percent compared to August 2010, while reservations for the upcoming six-month period, through January, are up 4.7 percent.

Will the trend continue? MTRiP analysts conceded that the turbulent markets and economic news could put a damper on future travel. "The duration and impact of economic fluctuations can't be predicted," said Ralf Garrison, MTRiP director. But research analyst Tom Foley was quick to add that any impact is not likely to approach the dimensions of the market collapse three years ago.

One thing that is rather similar to the pre-crash environment: the level of summer business. "Some of the best news is that some mountain destinations are now approaching summer business that matches pre-recession levels," said Garrison. "Mountain destinations have proved to be resilient in the past three years … with summer business mostly behind us and the active winter booking season not yet in full swing, we're encouraging steadiness and patience."