February’s overall occupancy for Aspen and Snowmass was pacing ahead of last year, based on information compiled as of Jan. 31, according to tourism officials.
Occupancy was 3.9 percent ahead for Aspen and 12.2 percent up in Snowmass, according to research conducted by MTRIP, a travel research program for mountain destinations.
Aspen occupancy was up moderately 4.3 percent in January versus the same month last year, with a slight decline in the average daily rate which went from $414 to $409. Aspen bookings taken in January for arrival the same month were down 18.7 percent, a better performance than in the industry as a whole, but a reversal of recent trends and likely the consequence of poor snowfall, according to MTRIP’s summary.
Aspen’s data is based on a sample of up to 17 properties in the local market, representing as many as 1,548 units and 67 percent of 2,304 total units in the resort.
Snowmass occupancy was up 8.8 percent in January versus the same month in 2011, with a slight increase in the average daily rate that went from $352 to $355. Snowmass bookings taken in January for arrival the same month were down dramatically — 58.3 percent — slightly below the industry aggregate and likely a consequence of uncertain snow conditions, according to MTRIP.
That data is based on a sample of up to 10 properties in Snowmass, representing as many as 1,458 units and 79 percent of 1,824 total units.
Next weekend is expected to be busy — occupancies are anticipated to be in excess of 85 percent in both Aspen and Snowmass, according to Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a local central reservations booking agency. That’s partially the result of President’s Day week coinciding with the Brazilian holiday, Carnival. Beyond that week, occupancies for the last week of February and the first week of March are pacing behind last year, according to Tomcich.
The incremental pace for all future bookings made during January slowed — 3.7 percent down in Aspen and 8.8 percent down in Snowmass, but this too is a lot less bad than the rest of the mountain resort industry, whose overall incremental pacing was reported to be down 23.8 percent from last year, Tomcich said via email.
“I can also tell you that at Stay Aspen Snowmass, the total number of new room nights booked during January were down just 4.8 percent from last year, and most of that loss occurred during the first half of the month before the snow returned to normal levels, along with the phone calls,” Tomcich wrote.