Vail group biz bookings doubles |

Vail group biz bookings doubles

Cliff Thompson

Based on existing group reservations booked by businesses, the summer should be pretty busy in Vail, statistics from the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau indicate.

“It does show the market is turning,” said Lori Rippstein, director of sales for the Chamber and Tourism Bureau. “There’s a lot of business in the funnel.”

It’s a tale of numbers that may indicate that business travel and conventions are returning after a three year hiatus. At the end of the first quarter of 2003, the Chamber and Tourism Bureau reported 1,357 room nights booked for group businesses worth $215,000 in lodging business. By the end of the first quarter of 2004, business had doubled with 3,015 room nights valued at $447,000, Rippstein said.

The Chamber and Tourism Bureau books the rooms under a contract with the lodging-tax-supported Vail Local Marketing District.

“Through our efforts at the Local Marketing District we have been able to focus on our key markets,” Rippstein said. “Our sales managers have done a good job. Once (meeting planners) see Vail, they book it.”

Rippstein said the reservations – unlike bookings in boom years past – have been made with very little lead time, usually six months or less.

She predicted the second quarter, from April through June, will also be strong. But the rebound still hasn’t achieved the group business her organization achieved in the boom years, she said.

Cliff Thompson can be contacted via e-mail at or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.

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