Colorado ski-resort bookings rise, but it’s taking bargains |

Colorado ski-resort bookings rise, but it’s taking bargains

Steve Raabe
The Denver Post

Ski resorts are seeing signs of a thaw in the recessionary deep-freeze that hit them hard last winter as bargain-hungry visitors book vacations.

For the second consecutive month, consumers reserved more condos and hotel rooms at Rocky Mountain resorts than they did for the same time last year, according to a new report.

Yet the increase in bookings is coming at a cost to the industry – more discounts and promotions to get visitors in the door.

“Resorts are having to work hard to move the occupancy needle upward, effectively buying their guests with lower rates,” said industry analyst Ralf Garrison.

The average room rate for this season’s bookings at 15 Western resort destinations is $316, down from last year’s $356, according to Garrison’s monthly Mountain Travel Monitor, released Wednesday. Eleven of the resorts surveyed for the report are in Colorado; others are in California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

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“A resort vacation has never been more affordable than it is this year,” said Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass. “It’s a buyers’ marketplace.”

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