AAA: July 4 travel may increase nearly 20 percent over past couple years |

AAA: July 4 travel may increase nearly 20 percent over past couple years

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – More people are expected to travel to the mountain states this year’s Fourth of July weekend than the past couple years, according to a press release from AAA.

The number is expected to increase 19 percent from 2009, with about 2.75 million people taking a trip of at least 50 miles from home. For the rest of the country, the number of travelers is projected to increase 17 percent.

“These figures show a healthy recovery in July 4 travel after steep declines on number of travelers in both 2008 and 2009,” according to the press release.

AAA gets its data from research by IHS Global Insight, a company that researches economic, financial and political information to make forecasts.

In Breckenridge, overall lodging bookings for the night of July 4 were pacing 8 percent ahead of 2009 when Mountain Travel Research Program released its last update May 31, said Breckenridge Resort Chamber spokeswoman Carly Grimes.

She said the latest data from Breckenridge Central Reservations – which includes many lodging facilities but not all of them – shows July 4 bookings down by about 2 percent from 2009.

“We always see last-minute fill-in for the Fourth of July weekend,” Grimes said.

The holiday this year falls on a Sunday, and more people are expected to have Monday off work and therefore spend more time in the town, she said.

As far as vacationers’ spending, AAA predicts the median in the mountain states to be $579, with 74 percent of that spent at the destination.

Fuel prices are to be between $2.60 and $2.70 per gallon -similar to last year, which was much more affordable than the $4 per gallon people paid in 2008, according to AAA.

The mountain states used in the data forecast include Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

SDN reporter Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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