Strong end of a strange winter for Aspen-Snowmass

People soak up the sun on a summer day in Aspen on Monday, July 20, 2020 (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

A roller coaster winter resulted in an overall occupancy rate of 42.2% for the Aspen-Snowmass Village accommodation industry, according to the latest report from Aspen Skiing Co. and its central reservation business .

This total was down from 47.7% occupancy for winter 2019-2020. The loss was less than expected in a winter ravaged by the pandemic and filled with uncertainty.

The ski season opened with high levels of COVID-19 cases nationally and locally and lots of questions about what winter would bring. International travel, one of Skico’s bread and butter markets, has been mostly popular for the season.

“Sales and marketing efforts have shifted towards increasing the number of national visits than ever before in an effort to fill in the gaps left by the absence of major international markets and distribution groups,” the Occupy report said. by Kristi Kavanaugh, vice president of sales for Skico, and Lise Adams, director of Stay Aspen Snowmass.

Cancellations have been a problem throughout the winter as COVID cases have increased and restrictions have increased.

“To give some perspective, Stay Aspen Snowmass booked 8% more bookings, but canceled over 200% more than a typical year,” the occupancy report says.

Winter business started to pick up in February and ended strong in April, when the occupancy rate was around 33%. Aspen Properties collectively had their second best April. Snowmass Village properties had their fourth best April.

“An effective way to end a strange winter,” the occupation report said.

Aspen-Snowmass appears to have suffered worse than many other resorts, according to a report from DestiMetrics, which tracks accommodation performance in resort destinations for a company called Inntopia.

Western mountain destinations ended the season “pulling a proverbial bunny out of the hat” and ended up with more overnight stays than the previous winter, which was cut short in March due to the pandemic, according to the DestiMetric report. The cumulative occupancy rate at the stations the company monitors has increased by 4.8% compared to 2019-2020. Aggregate average daily rates fell 9.4 percent, resulting in lower revenues for the accommodation industry.

“While in the end the accommodation failed to fully recover from the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the year-end summary was much ‘less bad’ than initially expected. of the season, and no later than 45 days ago. ”DestiMetrics said in its report.

As expected, this winter’s occupation has been a disaster compared to pre-COVID activity. The occupancy rate was down 18.3% from 2018-19, according to DestiMetrics.

Nevertheless, the momentum of the end of the ski season is expected to continue into the summer.

“All metrics indicate that the summer is pretty busy here in Aspen Snowmass and across the country,” the local occupancy report says. “We have 29.9% occupancy on the books, surpassing 10.1% last summer by 196%. To take a step back from 2019, we had 28.2% book occupancy at the end of April 2019 for summer 2019. ”

July is currently shaping up to be the busiest, with an occupancy rate of 52.2%, according to the report.

DestiMetrics said the overall picture at western hill stations shows occupancy for this summer is up 90.4% from this point last year, but down 4 , 7% compared to two years ago. Average daily rates and incomes are expected to show gains over two years ago.

“The occupancy rate is increasing for the coming summer and the months of July, August and September are already advancing two years ago at this time,” says the DestiMetric report. “Summer daily rates increase significantly from last year and two years ago as pent-up demand meets pent-up dollars due to stimulus payments and the highest level of savings in over 40 years. years.”

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