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SAM Magazine—Denver, May 18, 2012—Despite a 15 percent decline in skier visits in the 2011-12 season, lodging properties at 16 western mountain destinations experienced only a 2.8 percent decrease in actual occupancy for the season, according to the most recent data distributed by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). The average daily rate (ADR) rose 4.8 percent.

The data come from 265 properties in 16 destination resorts in Colorado, Utah, California, and Oregon.

“We saw a complete flip-flop this winter season from the past two years when resorts operated with excellent snow conditions but a struggling economy, while this year resorts were boosted by an improving economy but less enticing snow conditions,” said Ralf Garrison, director of MTRiP. “Destination visitors carried the season through the tough conditions. Resorts with strong national and international brands and a rich diversity of off-slope activities and attractions clearly fared the best,” he added.

“MTRiP found lodging property behavior to have changed from prior years,” said Tom Foley, director of operations for MTRiP. “Lodging properties became more nimble in adapting to changing circumstances and adding value to their guest’s experience instead of simply slashing prices.”

Looking ahead, summer bookings are trending up strongly, with reservations for May through October up 15.3 percent compared to the same time last year. One concern: the Travel Price Index moved up 2.8 percent for the month, driven primarily by increases in fuel prices, although rising room rates also played a role.