Vail hotel rooms less full, but rates are up |

Vail hotel rooms less full, but rates are up

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

VAIL ” Is it gas prices? A soft economy? Corporate cutbacks?

Whatever the cause, hotel occupancy this year in Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge is down slightly this year from the first six months of 2007. The drop isn’t dramatic ” about 2 percent for Vail and Aspen, about 5 percent for Breckenridge.

Average room rates are up, though, by between $22 per night in Breckenridge and $42 per night in Vail. Aspen has the highest average room rate at the moment, an average of nearly $414 per night.

Robert Benton, who runs a consulting company that tracks room occupany and rates across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, called that one-year boost “significant.”

While room occupancy has been solid due to two straight good ski seasons, the numbers have tailed off through the spring and summer. In fact, less than half the rooms in Vail and Breckenridge were used in June.

The weak economy is playing a part in the numbers, Benton said.

“I don’t know if it’s as much gas prices as it is people’s comfort level with the economy,” he said. The financial companies have cut back too on their incentive trips.

“We saw this in the early part of the decade,” Benton added. “It was more about people’s confidence in their own economic situation.”

Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or

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