SAM Magazine—Winter Park, Colo., July 15, 2021—Western mountain destinations will likely set new seasonal records for occupancy, rate, and revenue this summer, according to the latest monthly Market Briefing from DestiMetrics, the business intelligence division of Inntopia. Bookings for the coming winter are already strong as well.
The report includes data collected from 18 mountain destinations in eight western states. It indicates that June occupancy was up 131.4 percent year-over-year and average daily rate (ADR) jumped 45.4 percent for a revenue gain of 236.6 percent. Compared to June 2019, pre-pandemic, occupancy was down 1.4 percent, but that was more than offset by a 29.6 percent increase in ADR. As a result, revenues were up 27.9 percent compared to two years ago.
In addition, as of June 30, occupancy for the full summer season of May through October is up a substantial 141.9 percent compared to Summer 2020, with gains in all six months. ADR for the season is up 24 percent. When combined with the growth in occupancy, revenue is up an aggregated 201.1 percent compared to last summer. Compared to summer 2019, occupancy is up 7.1 percent, with declines only in May and June. ADR is up 31.5 percent, resulting in aggregated revenues that are now up 41.3 percent compared to the same time two years ago.
“We anticipated a strong rebound for mountain destinations for all the expected reasons—pent-up demand, billions of unspent travel money in savings, and a loyal customer base that has always been strongly connected to the mountains,” observed Tom Foley, senior vice president for Business Process and Analytics for Inntopia. “But these extraordinary increases in daily rate have exceeded our expectations and the fact that they have not deterred visitation—from both past and first-time customers—suggest that this summer is going to be a remarkable one that will be discussed for years ahead.”
Further evidence of post-pandemic travel enthusiasm is the lively booking pace for the upcoming early winter, particularly the December holidays. Occupancy already on the books for winter 2021-22 is up 77.7 percent as of June 30 and compared to the same time last year. When compared to two years ago at this time, occupancy is up 22 percent. Once again, rates are rising and consumers are showing little or no hesitancy. Aggregated winter rates are up 34.4 percent compared to last year and 43.8 percent compared to two years ago at this same time.
For December alone, occupancy is up 75 percent compared to one year ago at this time and 25.6 percent compared to two years ago at this time, with visitors making their holiday bookings well in advance after many holiday plans were cancelled or disrupted last year.
“With only one-third of the summer season completed, mountain resorts are already poised to achieve some new records for occupancy and rates and most likely well before the summer is over,” Foley said. “There is a lot of relief and enthusiasm about the strength of this summer’s recovery and the prospects for the upcoming winter, but there are a few yellow warning lights on the horizon. Rising inflation, rising cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 domestically and in international feeder markets, an employee housing crisis in resort communities, and the exodus of hospitality workers to other industries could all have an impact on overnight travel to mountain destinations in the months ahead,” he concluded.