SAM Magazine-Denver, Colo., July 23, 2010-After a sluggish start for summer mountain travel destinations across the western U.S., reservations have ticked up, according to the latest report released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) in its monthly Mountain Marketing Briefing.

Occupancy for June was down 2.5 percent, but reservations for July on the books as of June 30 were up 9.9 percent compared to the same period in 2009. And, in a sign of future activity, advance reservations for the July through December period is currently up 7.5 percent compared to the same time period last year, while average daily rate is up 2.5 percent.

"The autumn months look promising but less consistent, and there is a lot of variation in the strength of reservations between western resort destinations during the fall months," added Ralf Garrison, author of the monthly report.

Late or last-minute booking trends persist, the Briefing noted, but the pace of reservations taken in June for arrival between June and November increased 7.4 percent compared to reservations taken in June 2009. Arrivals scheduled for June, July, and September are up, while arrivals in August, October, and November are lower than in 2009.

Nonetheless, said Garrison, "After two years of almost constant downward pressure, this show of strength in both occupancy and rate is an encouraging sign for mountain destinations, and the best performance we've seen in several years."

The MTRiP survey is based on data from 265 lodging properties in 15 Western U.S. destination communities.