Breckenridge businesses, revenues continue to set records
High County Business Review
For nearly two years ” 23 months in a row ” Breckenridge sales tax revenues have set records across all sectors.
The ski resort posted 1.65 million skier visits, which is the most skier visits of any ski area in the country, and the Breckenridge economy surpassed $300 million for the first time in 2006, topping out at $323 million, according to Corry Mihm, executive director of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.
Last summer, lodging revenue was up 33 percent compared with 2005 and 27 percent compared with 2004. High demand for winter lodging continued until Presidents Day weekend, when most of the industry began to see a drop in lodging for the remainder of the year. But Breckenridge Central Reservations still exceeded its budgeted net income for the fiscal year.
Nationally, the 2005-06 ski season set records with skier/snowboarder visits and the industry showed consistent growth until last season, when it dipped about 6 percent because of poor snow conditions, said Chris Cares of RRC Associates. However, the Rocky Mountain states showed a 1 percent increase in visits, and Colorado posted another record year with 12,561,221 skier visits, compared with the previous season, which was the first time visits topped 12 million.
Breckenridge exceeded Vail in skier visits, 1.65 million to 1.608 million. Keystone’s visits were up 7 percent over last year, and Beaver Creek’s were up 1.7 percent.
The average age of skiers continues to increase, from 35 to 37, and last year showed some decline in single skiers, with couples and families making up the difference.
At the Breckenridge Resort Chamber’s annual meeting Thursday, Cares told businesses to plan for older customers and more minority visitors. By 2030, 58 percent of the population is projected to be Caucasian, whereas in 2040, it drops to 54 percent and to 50 percent by 2050.
Meanwhile, the Asian and Hispanic populations are projected to roughly double between 2000 and 2050. Income reported by skiers also continued to rise from past years, he said.
In recent years, people who had vehicles for their own use in Breckenridge had declined, but this past season it increased, from 61 percent in the 2005-06 season to 70 percent. Cares said merchants should reinforce the “positive message” that Breckenridge is a place visitors can come without relying on a car. Meanwhile, Cares’ survey of about 3,500 people stated that people gave mostly poor ratings to parking availability and price.
His data also showed that with summer and winter visitors combined, most (69 percent) shopped during their vacation, 50 percent dined, 40 percent skied and 19 percent snowboarded.
Most came from out of state (63.7 percent) as opposed to international (9.7 percent) or Colorado overnighters (12.6 percent). International guests tended to stay an average of 8.8 nights, whereas out-of-staters stayed 5.2 nights. Most were repeat guests.
The top six states where out-of-town visitors came from were: Texas, Florida, Illinois, California, New York and Pennsylvania.