Report: Mid-summer lodging occupancy, rate are cooling but ahead of 2017
DENVER — As of July 31, the midpoint of the summer season for western mountain destinations, variations in lodging performance among different regions and properties throughout the seven participating states and 290 properties is more apparent than in previous months. However, aggregated data released last week by Inntopia in its monthly DestiMetrics Market Briefing revealed that while occupancy growth is slowing slightly as the year progresses, overall metrics continue to creep upward toward an expected seventh consecutive summer record.
Occupancy for the month of July dipped 0.7 percent compared to July, 2017, but revenue managed a 2 percent gain for the month bolstered by a 2.6 percent gain in Average Daily rate. For the full summer from May through October, occupancy is up 2.2 percent and daily rate is up 2.1 percent, leading to a seasonal revenue increase of 4.3 percent compared to last summer. Along with July’s slight decrease, September is also showing a 5.4 percent decrease in occupancy but the other four summer months are posting increases.
“Disparity among destinations is broader than in the past, as some struggle with capacity issues, others with wildfire smoke, and others are still working to refine and capitalize on their summer message,” said Tom Foley, vice president of business intelligence for Inntopia. “As some properties reach essentially full capacity on weekends and holiday periods, it is pretty difficult to increase the occupancy numbers. But, with modest rate upticks, aggregate revenues are managing to keep a bit ahead of last summer.”
The briefing also reported on bookings made in July for arrivals in the six months of July through December. As of July 31, bookings made in July for arrivals in July through December are down four percent compared to the booking pace last July. While bookings made in July made for arrivals in that month were up 5.8 percent, bookings for August through December arrivals were down every month except November in a year-over-year comparison.
“A subtle but notable shift occurred this month in the number of destinations reporting year-over-year increases in occupancy and revenue compared to the number reporting decreases,” Foley said. “Last year at this time, 12 of our 18 participating destinations were reporting occupancy gains while six were reporting decreases. This year, that has shifted to a 50/50 split with only nine reporting increases and nine reporting decreases. Although a rough wildfire season may be impacting performance in some regions, it is notable that as consumer confidence levels out, inflation picks up, and trade tariffs threaten markets and pricing, we might just be seeing some early signs of economically-driven softening in bookings and rate for mountain destinations in the months ahead.”