Overall summer occupancy rates climb at western mountain destinations | SierraSun.com

Overall summer occupancy rates climb at western mountain destinations

Kelsie Longerbeam and Wyatt Haupt Jr.
klongerbeam@sierrasun.com | whaupt@sierrasun.com
The view from below at Sugar Bowl Resort at Donner Summit, which offers plenty of skiing terrain.

Overall occupancy for western mountain destinations in the past six summer months (April through October) have risen up, thanks to bookings made in September.

With the rise in occupancy figures during September, as of Sept. 30, aggregated summer occupancy rates increased by 0.1 percent while revenues are up a whooping 7.2 percent compared to September 2016, industry data showed.

The increase in revenue was the result of higher, average daily room rates in the western states, which consist of California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

Inntopia, a Vermont-based business intelligence company whom acquired DestiMetrics earlier this year, released the results in their monthly DestiMetrics Market Briefing and also announced a reversal from last month’s report when overall summer occupancy figures were dropping for the first time in six years.

From the month of September alone, occupancy was up 1.4 percent with a 7.3 percent increase in revenue.

“Summer occupancy recovered in September driven by strong bookings, and the net result is that a summer season that seemed likely to miss a seventh consecutive occupancy record is now almost certainly going to finish with a positive gain thanks to October growth,” assured Tom Foley vice president of Business Intelligence for Inntopia. “Although the increase in occupancy is very slight with gains in May, September, and October and declines in June, July and August, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) continued to increase resulting in revenue increases for all six months.”

The DestiMetrics Briefing also provided updated information for what looks like promising winter bookings. As of Sept. 30., aggregated winter occupancy for November through March is down 1.1 percent compared to last year, but ADR is up five percent for the winter with increases in every month except November, leading to an aggregated increase in revenue of 4.1 percent.

Unfortunately no data is available for April.

“The trend of nearly flat occupancy and year-over-year increases in rate that emerged last winter and carried through the summer appears to be continuing into the upcoming winter,” said Foley. “Lodging properties are pursuing their revenue goals with rate increases with the expectation that higher rates will offset lower occupancy figures. In an industry that depends on the new visitation and growth for long-term sustainability, it will be interesting to monitor the effectiveness of this strategy but it is certainly working for them in this robust economy.”

Economic indicators also remained strong and stable for the month of September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1 percent for the fourth consecutive all-time monthly close, despite record setting damage from storms in late August and September. The Dow is up 22.4 percent compared to last year.

“Despite the huge impact of hurricanes on several U.S. regions this autumn, consumer’s assessment of current conditions remains favorable and their expectations are that the economy will continue to grow for the short-term,” said Foley.

The market is presenting sustained high values for the Consumer Confidence Index, although it slipped slightly to 119 points, a 0.5 percent decrease in September.

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