Winter Lodging Data Looks Good

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SAM Magazine--March 15, 2013--More consistent snowfall and stronger economic metrics combined to deliver impressive gains for the mountain lodging industry according to the most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). Actual occupancy for February 2013 was up 14.2 percent compared to last February and the Average Daily Rate (ADR) was up 2.6 percent. Further evidence of the demand for mountain vacations, the booking pace for reservations taken in February for arrivals in the next six months (February-July) was up a dramatic 20.4 percent.

“For the first time in several years, both the broader markets and the winter weather patterns are showing sustained momentum that have boosted the ski season lodging totals,” explains Ralf Garrison, director of MTRiP. “With almost 94 percent of total reservations that will be taken for the season now on the books, the season is currently up nine percent in revenues although that is expected to drop slightly in the remaining weeks of the season.”

As of Feb. 28, the aggregated occupancy among participating lodging properties in 16 western destinations was up six percent for the past six months (September through February) compared to 2011-12 and the ADR was up 2.6 percent. The positive increase over last year is continuing in March with on-the-books occupancy for March up 9.9 percent as of Feb. 28 compared to last year.

“Many of the destinations experienced a decrease in December bookings due to the season’s slow start,” continues Garrison. “An earlier Easter holiday will benefit March but at the expense of April’s destination business, which is off significantly as a result.”

Looking forward to summer, Garrison points out that for the coming six months, March through July, reservations are up every month except April for an aggregated increase of 8.5 percent compared to the same time last year.

“The ongoing strength in mountain summer reservations is further evidence that summer mountain vacations are finally coming into their own,” explains Garrison. “Seeing the emergence of mountain resorts as a top summer vacation choice is exciting….and long overdue,” he added.