Rooms available for Championships weeks
If you’re looking for lodging sometime between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, here are four options available at www.vailonsale.com:
• Christie Lodge: $269 per night for a one-bedroom suite.
• Lion Square Lodge: $415 per night.
• Manor Vail Lodge: From $679 per night.
• Park Hyatt Beaver Creek: From $899 per night.
EAGLE COUNTY — As parties go, the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships will be a big one. And it looks like there’s still space if you’d like to spend a few nights.
Some of the valley’s biggest hotels have between a handful and several rooms available during the two weeks of the championships. Other lodges have rooms available, too.
At the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, general manager Robert Purdy said that hotel is mostly booked through the weekends of the Championships — and is well-booked throughout February. But, Purdy said, there are weekday rooms available during the Championship weeks.
While there are rooms available, even during the Championships’ weekends — the second of which includes Presidents Day — it looks as if the valley will avoid the syndrome that hit Whistler/Blackcomb during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
During those events, occupancy at the ski resorts was only about 65 percent, due in large part to people thinking all the rooms had already been booked.
SKI VACATION CONCERNS
Purdy said the Hyatt has had a few guests worry whether they’ll be able to get a good ski vacation in during the Championships. Mostly, though, there will be plenty of people at the hotel, which, Purdy noted, is holding the line on room pricing. That means guests are paying normal high-season rates.
At the Four Seasons in Vail, sales and marketing director Scott Gubrud said there are some values available in the lodge’s remaining rooms. It’s a Four Seasons, so rooms are still a premium commodity, but $850 a night is a good rate for a high-season room.
Ann Lynch, the sales and marketing director at The Sebastian hotel in Vail, said that lodge still has rooms available, but guests this year will pay more for their rooms than they did last year. Lynch said the hotel’s reservations are down fractionally from February 2014 but that the lodge’s “average daily rate” has increased from a year ago.
A WEAK EURO
Besides people possibly staying away because of the Championships, Lynch added that the dollar today is stronger against the Euro than it was a year ago, making a vacation in the U.S. more expensive. That also could affect occupancy somewhat, she said.
In an email, Vail Valley Partnership CEO Chris Romer wrote that Vail and Beaver Creek are both up in occupancy for the first two weeks of February compared to the same period in 2014.
And, Romer wrote, he expects those numbers to climb even during the two weeks of the Championships.
“We always see ‘last minute’ fill from our friends on the Front Range,” Romer wrote. “We will see higher occupancies than in years past for this time frame, especially mid-week.”
Even mid-week occupancy numbers could be 10 to 15 percent higher than the same period in 2014, Romer wrote, adding that the numbers “could be even higher if properties have good deals to attract guests during those times.”
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa may be the best-booked hotel in the valley during the championships. Sales and marketing director Kristen Pryor said that hotel is the host media center for the championships, so it’s virtually full for almost the entire two weeks.
“But we have a few holes — we do have a few rooms available,” Pryor said. “We’re hoping the rest of the valley does as well.”
For the lodges that do have rooms, marketing efforts are focusing not just on the Championships but the events. Marketing is also focused on the fact that the races will take up very little space on Beaver Creek Mountain and even less at Vail.
“In Vail, we’ll have an empty mountain and concerts every night,” Vail Resort Rentals owner Dale Bugby said.
Bugby added that almost all of the rental units his company manages are booked through the Championships. But, he said, the Vail on Sale website, which is run by the Vail Valley Partnership, is seeking out lodges in the area that still have rooms available. And, Bugby said, those people who do come should enjoy their stay.
“I think folks will go home with a great experience,” he said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.
The graduates of Vail Mountain School’s class of 2019 will be off to far-flung destinations next fall, set to enter college in one of 16 different states or explore the world on a gap year. One grad is even attending college in Canada.