Mountain resorts may post summer occupancy records
DENVER — Western mountain lodging business is projected to post record occupancy and revenue figures for the third consecutive year, according to the most recent results released by Denver-based consulting firm DestiMetrics in its monthly Mountain Market Briefing.
Projections for the 2014 summer, which includes May through October, are that occupancy will be up 4 percent and revenues are expected to post a 6.9 percent gain compared to last summer. This tops the all-time summer record high in mountain destinations that was set last summer. Participating destinations have now already received or booked 90 percent of their total revenue for the entire summer of 2013, with August, September and October figures yet to be fully realized.
July was a strong contributing month to the projected record-breaking numbers with a 3.4 percent increase in actual occupancy compared to July 2013 and a 9 percent increase in revenue.
“With half of the summer officially on the books and continued strong bookings in the remaining three months, we feel extremely confident that the summer of 2014 will break yet another all-time record for both occupancy and revenue,” said Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics. “The summer season at mountain destinations has definitely come into its own as evidenced by the third consecutive summer of occupancy and revenue records in both the far West and Rocky Mountain regions.”
In its brief analysis of key economic indicators that correlate to discretionary spending, including leisure travel, the briefing gave the green light to three major indicators: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, consumer confidence index and the unemployment rate.
“Even though the Dow Jones declined 1.5 percent in July, it still remains 6.9 percent higher than one year ago and its performance is a bit more realistic of late. More importantly, consumer confidence rose 5.2 percent and exceeded the important 90-point mark for the first time since September 2008,” said Tom Foley, director of operations for DestiMetrics. “And, although the unemployment rate ticked up one basis point in July, it does mark the sixth consecutive month of 200,000-plus new jobs, and the increase is due to greater workforce participation.”
Although cheering all the positive news, the briefing notes that market conditions are vulnerable to a variety of factors including an economic shift, a geopolitical crisis or an extensive wildfire. All have the potential to slow the pace of business in the mountain travel industry.
“While we always keep a wary eye on the potentially disruptive impact of local or global political situations and Mother Nature, economic indicators are strongly positive and summer 2014 business is carrying forward the momentum of the last two summers so we project yet another record-breaking year among our participating lodging properties throughout the West,” Garrison said. “All in all, this month’s report card for summer destination travel continues to be favorable for most mountain destinations.”
For more information, go to http://www.destimetrics.com.