Vail summer lodging picture looking good
Numbers are strong even compared to 2019
The six-month summer season that extends from May through October looks strong right now.
The latest data from Destimetrics by Inntopia, a resort lodging analysis firm, shows that as of May 31, mountain resort region lodging occupancy for the full season is up 166% compared to summer 2020, with gains in all six months. When contrasted with the pre-pandemic summer of 2019, the results are less dramatic but still positive.
On-the-books occupancy across the mountain resort region is up 1.6% compared to 2019 with declines in May, June, and July compared to those months in 2019. In sharp contrast to the moderate occupancy growth, average daily rate is up a substantial 30.7% compared to two summers ago and that increase more than offsets the moderate occupancy growth to show a current revenue gain of 33.1% compared to the same period in 2019.
“The comparisons to last summer when the pandemic was wreaking havoc on summer vacation plans certainly appears dazzling, but they do not represent a realistic view of how lodging properties are performing in the long term,” said Tom Foley, senior vice president for Business Operations and Analytics for Inntopia. “When we make the comparisons to two years ago, we see that the mountain destinations showed impressive resilience as they adapted to the ever-changing circumstances. At the same time, mountain visitors are exhibiting their commitment and loyalty to these destinations as they are returning at ever-growing pre-pandemic numbers and showing little reluctance or resistance about significantly higher rates.”
Vail Economic Development Director Mia Vlaar said results locally are consistent with what’s seen across the region.
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Vlaar said there’s been “really strong short-term demand” in the three-month summer period. Between pent-up demand and a full events calendar, Vlaar added she believes Vail is in for a busy summer.
Beyond just occupancy, Vlaar said “hotels are holding strong on rate” right now.
Group business — from weddings and family reunions to corporate meetings — is a big part of Vail’s spring, summer and fall visitation picture. That business still isn’t recovering the way we’d like it to,” Vlaar said. But, she added, it looks like future group bookings are starting to pick up.
The season is “looking very positive although the fires are a concern,” Vlaar said. But, she added, so far it looks like “people are eager to get back and experience Vail.”