Will winter lodging match summer’s success in Vail? | VailDaily.com

Will winter lodging match summer’s success in Vail?

The Vail Chamber & Business Association would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season!Tuesday’s Vail Economic Advisory Council meeting, featured a presentation from Ralf Garrison of the Mountain Travel Research Project. The good news is that our local occupancy over the summer was up 8 percent overall, while similar mountain communities were up only 6 percent. The average daily rate paid in Vail was also up 5 percent, while similar resorts were up only 1 percent. Projections for the winter, while it’s still a bit early, are not quite as strong as the summer. Keep in mind that these reported figures were as of November, and don’t include any increases that have been seen with all the recent events and press about the above-average snowfall. Vail is trending a little behind in occupancy right now – the entire winter season is down 4 percent – but it is showing stronger rate growth with an increase of 3 percent. The reported winter numbers do not include the three newest lodging properties that have recently opened up – Solaris, the Ritz Carlton Club and the Four Seasons. Another interesting point Garrison shared with the group is that airline travel as a whole is flat. This leads to the conclusion, that Vail is drawing more from our drive markets. There are also discussions taking place about the possible use of the conference center funds. As you might recall, a few years ago when the proposed conference center was rejected by the voters, there had already been a year of tax collections. The amount is estimated to be about $9.2 million at this time. The basic idea is to use the money to fix up what we already have and bring these assets to a level that supports what Vail has come to represent. Projects that are being considered include Improvements to the Vail Golf Club clubhouse, a remodel or expansion of the Vail Village welcome center, improvements in guest information (signs and/or technologies) and possible Ford Park improvements. If you have suggestions or possible opportunities, please share them with us. But do note that whatever may be considered will have to go to Vail voters for final approval.In a bit of disappointing news, last week the Vail Valley Foundation gave an update to the Vail Town Council. It seems that the “Vail / Beaver Creek World Cup 2015” will have all the races in Beaver Creek and the celebrations and exhibit halls will be in Vail. While we are not sure what this exactly means for us and the local Vail economy, there is concern that Vail is losing its racing heritage. We’ll be sure to share with you as more information becomes available.The Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to business in and that do business in Vail, contact us at 970-477-0075 or e-mail info@vailchamber.org. Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Stop by and say hello!Richard tenBraak is Executive Director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association

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