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SAM Magazine—Denver, Jan. 16, 2013—Mid- to late-December snowstorms fueled a partial rebound in occupancy during the month, and boosted advance reservations for the remainder of the season, according to the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). Despite the snow, lodging properties in the 16 participating mountain resorts in Colorado, Utah, California, and Oregon posted a 7.9 percent decline in occupancy for the month of December—better than the 12.3 percent deficit in advance reservations at the beginning of the month, but still not great.

Even with decreased occupancy, the average daily rate (ADR) ticked up for the 19th consecutive month, up 2.6 percent compared to December 2011.

Among participating resorts, the booking pace during December was up 10.4 percent compared to 2011 for arrivals in December through May. As of Dec. 31, January bookings were running 3.5 percent ahead of the prior year, with a 7.9 percent increase in the ADR compared to last January. Further ahead, February advance reservations are up 8.6 percent, March and April are still running behind 2012.

“The western resorts are more than making up for last year’s drought, the East is outperforming last season’s hurricane/drought/heat wave, and the Rockies have experienced mixed results but are trending in a positive direction,” said Ralf Garrison, director of MTRiP. “We anticipate that with additional snowfall across all destinations, our ‘second season momentum’ will continue.”

It all depends on the weather, in other words.