Aspen nearing 96 percent occupancy

by Dorothy Atkins, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Town will be nearing full occupancy this weekend thanks to a surge of last minute bookings that came as a result of fresh snow.

Lodging in Aspen and Snowmass is likely nearing 96 percent Saturday and today, according to Bill Tomcich, president of central bookings agency Stay Aspen Snowmass. That is about as full as the town has been in the past six years, he said.

“It’s going to be as busy as it’s ever been,” Tomcich said.

The last occupancy report on Dec. 15 indicated that town was about 85 percent full, but that has changed since, Tomcich said. The report is based on a survey of about 74 percent of the bedbase in the area and includes 3,069 lodging units.

 Dorothy M. Atkins/Aspen Daily News
A line forms outside of Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola around 11 a.m. on Saturday. Aspen is nearly full this weekend thanks to 22 inches of fresh snow that the area received in the past week. 

Two snowstorms dumped 22 inches on Aspen in the past week, and that has attracted more last minute bookings, Tomcich said. The occupancy rate has also benefited from flights making it into the local airport, he added.

Only five flights didn’t make it into Aspen’s airport due to inclement weather since Christmas and three of those were rescheduled for this morning, Tomcich said. Over the past few days, there have been 25 flights transporting about 1,600 people into town a day, Tomcich said.

Meanwhile, the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District calculated that there were about 14,000 people in town on Friday based on wastewater flows. Last year, the season peaked on Dec. 30 with about 15,120 people in town, according to the calculation. The sanitation district can serve up to 24,000 people at maximum capacity.

Although town is nearly full, there are still open beds that could be filled, Tomcich noted.

“There are still rooms available,” Tomcich said. “We don’t want people to believe we’re completely sold out.”