Reservations Up in the West

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SAM Magazine, September 16, 2011--The most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP)* revealed that despite a dramatic drop in consumer confidence, wide fluctuations in the stock market and the the weather wreaking havoc, reservation activity for western mountain destinations remained solid. August occupancy continued the positive summer trend with actual occupancy up 7.5 percent compared to the same month last year while the Average Daily Rate (ADR) was virtually flat at 0.4 percent. On-the-books reservations for winter are also trending positively among participating destinations. September 2011 is pacing ahead of last September and is up 8.3 percent in occupancy with a 2.7 percent increase in the ADR.

Looking forward, a noteworthy indicator is the 7.4 percent increase in on-the-books occupancy for the next six months (September through February) as of Aug. 31 with reservations taken in August for arrivals in August through January is up a significant 17.6 percent. Five of the six months are up compared to last year with the exception of October. December is showing the strongest gains and is currently up 17.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

"It's too early to predict the winter outlook," cautions Ralf Garrison of MTRiP. "While advanced reservation momentum is impressive, it is early in the booking season and we anticipate continued volatility in the markets, so nothing should be taken for granted," emphasizes Garrison.

*Data is derived from a sample of 265 property management companies in 15 mountain destination communities, representing 24,000 rooms across Colorado, Utah, California and Oregon and may not reflect the entire mountain destination travel industry. Results may vary significantly among/between resorts and participating properties. \