Summer Lodging Reservations Rise in the West

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SAM Magazine-Denver, June 23, 2011-Advanced reservations for the summer season are up at many Western mountain destinations, according to the most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). For the month of May, occupancy was up 5.6 percent, with the average daily rate (ADR) up 3.2 percent compared to May 2010. The booking pace during the month of May for mountain properties also ticked up 2.8 percent compared to last May, with increases in reservations for June, July, and August.

The data are drawn from a sample of 265 property management companies in 15 mountain destination communities in Colorado, Utah, California, and Oregon.

The data, which include both historical and forward-looking data as of May 31, show advanced reservations for June are currently up 6.7 percent. And for the upcoming six months (June through November), reservations are up 12.8 percent compared to the same time period last year.

"The summer resort season, often slow out of the gates, is actually looking pretty good in many mountain destinations," reported Ralf Garrison, MTRiP director. "Despite dismal May weather and new and persistent economic concerns, most significantly fuel-related costs, we're seeing data that indicates that mountain destinations are off to a strong start and exceeding last summer's pace.

"The increases in both occupancy and daily rate bode well for the coming summer, and we are looking for this positive momentum to carry into July and August," predicted Garrison. "With plenty of special events scheduled and a leveling of fuel costs, we anticipate that the staycation pattern from the last several years will evolve into a 'close-cation' movement driven by local and regional markets. For now, an attractive summer product in mountain resorts is overcoming economic uncertainty, at least in nearby drive markets."