Year-over-year occupancy was up 1.4% and the average nightly rate down 5.8% for the 2009-10 snowsports season at 15 western mountain resort destinations monitored by The Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP).


Occupancy was up 1% in January, 3% in February and 8% in March, MTRiP reported in its final winter season briefing. Occupancy was flat in April, the last month of the season.   MTRiP’s data also show that advance bookings for the upcoming six months have improved considerably in the past 30 days, with year-over-year occupancy up nearly 1% and lodging rates up 3.4%. The booking pace in April for arrivals in April through September is up 32.2% compared to last year.


“Although the occupancy increase remains quite small, it still represents a statistical stepping stone in advance booking data and along with the ongoing strength in the pace of advanced reservations, we’re seeing the first rate increases in some time,” noted MTRiP's Ralph Garrison.


MTRiP’s data is derived from a sample of 265 property management companies in 15 mountain destination communities across Colorado, Utah, California, and Oregon and may not reflect the entire mountain destination travel industry.