SAM Magazine—Denver, June 22, 2020—As stay-at-home restrictions ease, and lodging properties throughout the western mountain region are gradually opening up more capacity, demand has ticked up slightly. However, according to the monthly DestiMetrics* Market Briefing from Inntopia, aggregated summer occupancy is still limping along, down 85.4 percent through May 31 as cautious consumers and businesses betrayed concerns about the ongoing pandemic. The average daily rate (ADR) for the month was down 28 percent, leading to an 89.7 percent decrease in revenue.
The Briefing suggested that its 290 participating property management companies, located in 18 mountain destination communities across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho, are focusing on “getting it right” during the summer months to help secure the success of the more crucial upcoming winter season.
The Briefing noted that as late as May 20, 69 percent of participating properties were completely closed to guests, while 19 percent were operating with occupancy restrictions. Only 13 percent of all properties were fully open for visitors.
Data for the full summer suggests results will not rebound quickly. As of May 31, occupancy for the six months from May through October is down 61.9 percent, posting decreases in all six months, with May and June being the hardest hit. Somewhat surprisingly, ADR for the summer is up 5.2 percent. Rates show modest gains in all summer months except for May, when properties lowered prices to entice cautious consumers to visit the mountains. As of May 31, revenue for the summer is down 60.4 percent.
Cancellations continue to outpace new bookings. “Overall, aggregated occupancy on-the-books for the summer continues to decrease, with five of the six months showing lower occupancy figures than as of April 30,” said Tom Foley, senior vice president for business operations and analytics for Inntopia. "May was the only exception and eked out a small increase, when aggregated occupancy went from a miniscule 1.5 percent occupancy to 4.1 percent occupancy of all rooms in the data set.”
And travelers are continuing to show caution. “We now have re-openings picking up, but consumers remain tentative," said Foley. "We are seeing most summer bookings for either very short-lead arrivals of less than 30 days in advance, or very long-lead dates of more than 140 days in advance.”