Decline In Lodging Numbers

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Christmas season has passed and we now enter a “quieter” time of the ski season.  January typically means a slow down in the number of total visitors we see, but this year predicts to be especially soft.

The recent lodging numbers released by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association projects occupancy at only 56% of the total lodging available beginning tomorrow night. That number equates to about 8,300 people.  Looking over the numbers for this same night in 2008, that puts us down about 4,600 people.  Last year at this time period, we saw close to 13,100 guests in Steamboat, or 88% occupancy levels.

The general consensus of the Steamboat Chamber and other lodging managers is that now, more than ever, people are booking vacations closer to their arrival dates.  This might boost the above projections by a little, but who’s to say how much.

Overall lodging numbers for Saturday night comparisons slowly increased as the month of December wore on, but I’d be lying to say that we’re seeing the same amount of traffic we did last year.

The hope is that with the arrival of 2009 we’ll see a gain in consumer confidence, especially when it comes to travel.  The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation is getting proactive and releasing some mid-season specials to try and entice would-be travelers.

On a brighter note, with the start of “Ski Jam” – a music event bringing in groups from across the country-  this Wednesday is expected to hit 81% occupancy.

As we all know from living here, if the snow continues to fall the visitors will flock!  It’s the old “if you build it, they will come” philosophy in action.  Besides, real estate prices continue to remain reasonable and investment opportunities are here for the taking.  The Boyd Team is remaining positive about the outlook of visitor traffic and potential home buyers to our market as the winter season rolls on.

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