Aggregated occupancy and revenue for western mountain lodging posted strong gains for the month of September and are pointing to a good start to the winter 2016/17 season, according to the most recent data released by Denver-based DestiMetrics.

Early-season snow has already dusted many mountain peaks, bringing the pace of winter booking into sharper focus. As of September 30, occupancy for the upcoming winter through March 2017 is up 8.9 percent compared to this same time last year, with gains in all five months for which data are currently available. Revenues are up 11 percent for the same period.

“Though the early data are positive, it’s interesting to note that we’re seeing some shifts in rate patterns for the coming winter with significant gains in November, December and January but much more modest gains in February and March,” reported Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics. “But for the moment, occupancy is looking really good, especially for those first three months of the ski and snowboard season.”

DestiMetrics tracks resort performance in mountain destinations, compiling forward-looking reservation data on a monthly basis and aggregating and reporting the results to subscribers at participating resorts. Data for western resorts is derived from a sample of approximately 290 property management companies in 19 mountain destination communities, representing approximately 30,000 rooms across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana, and may not reflect the entire mountain destination travel industry. Results may vary significantly among/between resorts and participating properties.

September Occupancy Up 10.4 Percent
Actual occupancy for September was up 10.4 percent and revenues were up a dramatic 19.6 percent compared to September 2015. The results are consistent with the entire summer, as aggregated occupancy is up 6.5 percent and revenues are up 14 percent including on-the-books figures for October.

“Now that summer lodging activity is approaching the finish line with just a few weeks to go, a fifth consecutive summer record is assured,” said Garrison. “We’ll tally the final numbers at the end of October and now turn our attention to winter. With about 42 percent of winter nights and 45 percent of revenue already in, a positive early picture is starting to emerge.”

“Mountain travel destinations have been rewarded this summer by stable financial markets and resorts continuing to grow and develop their summer products,” summarized Garrison. “The dramatic increases in both occupancy and revenues are another indication that mountain resort communities are growing more broadly into true year-round destinations with a broader economic base. The new paradigm is more about managing and mitigating the peak season business and marketing to the shoulder seasons where comfortable capacity still exists,” he concluded.