“I think people are ready to travel and that places like Aspen and Snowmass and other mountain destinations – and really any place that is a tourism-driven economy – is going to have a very, very busy summer. “Hanle said.
In Breckenridge, the summer occupancy rate is 11.7%, up from 14.8% at this time in 2019. Lucy Kay, president and CEO of the Breckenridge Tourism Authority, said in an update updated to City Council that despite the lag, booking levels are consistent throughout the summer, indicating longer stays and more out-of-state visitors compared to last year.
The lack of group travel continues to be a drag in resort communities, according to Kay and Hanle.
Heavy footfall at the end of the ski season helped offset the low numbers at the start of winter. In Breckenridge, the occupancy rate from November to April was on average 51.3%, compared to 56.9% for the 2018-19 season, according to data from Destimetrics.
Aspen was worse, with an occupancy rate of 43.5% in winter, down from around 48% last year and 62% the year before. The weaker performance is likely due to the region’s greater reliance on overseas tours compared to other Colorado resorts, Hanle said.
The lack of international tourism was particularly felt in January and February, he said, but was somewhat mitigated by an increase in domestic travel in March and April.