Data shows strong summer performance |

Data shows strong summer performance

Ralf Garrison
Vail, CO, Colorado

With the summer season over, kids back in school and fall in the air, the pendulum for travelers and tourism destinations has begun to swing toward the prospects of a vacation during the coming winter season, especially the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Before we shift our focus entirely to winning the winter game, let’s take a quick look back at what we saw (and learned) this summer.

As foretold by the Mountain Travel Research Program’s Reservation Activity Outlook reports, summer 2010 put on an admirable performance. After two down years in this “great recession,” booking patterns demonstrated strong growth in year-over-year occupancies, as well as noteworthy increases in the (discounted) rates consumers have been demanding.

So, for the record, please pause for a moment and join us in a little “hoorah,” as summer 2010 trumps summer 2009, bouncing halfway back to the pre-recession levels of 2008.

To put things into perspective according to our research, occupancy this summer ended up at 37.3 percent, up from 35.1 percent in 2009, but down from 41.2 percent in 2008. Average dailyn rates for these same time periods showed some improvement in 2010 from 2009, with nightly rates ending at $169, up from $166. However, rates failed to match the 2008 average of $176. While June seemed pretty lackluster, both July and August were strong.

Looking ahead at business on the books at the end of August, September showed continued strength and October is up slightly as well.

Ralf Garrison is a partner in the Mountain Travel Research Program, or MTRiP. To learn more, go to

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