Hotel-booking website pinpoints December as cheaper month to book in Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

Hotel-booking website pinpoints December as cheaper month to book in Breckenridge

According to a recent price analysis of popular Colorado ski destinations by a global hotel-booking website, December actually isn't too bad of a time to rent a room in Breckenridge.

HotelsCombined.com is an Australia-based, price-comparison platform that works much the same way Expedia.com or Hotels.com does. It compiles the rates for a number of lodging accommodations on its website and allows consumers to make purchases based on which hotel best suits their needs.

Using statistics from the 2016-17 ski season, HotelsCombined can now help snow bunnies get a better idea of what to expect for the 2017-18 ski season, and more important, show people where to save, said Georgia Smail, a company spokeswoman, via email.

According to Smail, HotelsCombined looked at hotels surrounding seven slopes in Colorado — Aspen, Breckenridge, Keystone, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Vail and Winter Park — and crunched the numbers based on prices and demand throughout last year's ski season, defined as December through March.

What the company found, Smail said, is that Breckenridge stood out among its peers last winter with the highest average daily rate for hotel accommodations here coming in February, not December.

"Across the board, in all except two destinations — one of which being Breckenridge — December came out as the most expensive month for accommodation," Smail wrote, adding that it's not surprising, "given Christmas and New Year are peak travel times."

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In Breckenridge, last season's peak average price of $413 per room was in February, compared to $380 in December, $320 in January and $286 in March. Meanwhile, the average cost of a hotel room in Breckenridge last December was almost $200 cheaper per night than it was in Vail.

Like Breckenridge, Telluride was unique with its peak prices coming in February. However, rooms in Breckenridge were on average $75 cheaper than they were in Telluride throughout that month.

For those to whom money is no issue, Vail consistently posted the highest hotel rates out of any of the seven slopes included in the study, led by the average daily of $572, of course, in December.

Telluride was a distant second at $417 a night that same month, and Aspen had the third highest average rate at $340. Comparing only Telluride and Aspen, Telluride recorded higher average hotel prices every month included in the survey, except March.

Like most others, Keystone also posted its highest average hotel price of last year in December, but lodging at the family-friendly ski resort was still considerably cheaper at $324 per night than it was in Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail through the Christmastime month.

Overall, Winter Park consistently had the lowest rates for rooms, ranging from a high of $225 last December down to $181 in February, out of the seven slopes included in the price comparison.

Also, March was tagged as the best time to book hotels across Colorado's ski country, with four of the seven slopes included in the analysis posting their lowest rates of the four-month time period in March.

In terms of demand for just the hotels in Breckenridge, Smail tagged Beaver Run Resort as No. 1 and produced figures from December 2016 through March that showed overall demand for hotels in Breckenridge was up 96 percent compared to the same months in 2015-16.

Breaking that down even further, last December was up a whopping 278 percent and March was up 102 percent, while January (10 percent) and February (38 percent) saw more modest gains.

Founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2005, HotelsCombined is one of the world's leading hotel price comparison platforms, reportedly helping more than 400 million travelers search and compare hotel deals in 130 currencies and more than 42 languages, according to the company.

HotelsCombined's analysis comes on the heels of a report by Mountain Destinations showing record growth in resorts' lodging industry throughout the summer.

Mountain Destinations tracks lodging performance in resort communities across multiple western states, and according to the market-research firm, revenue was up "a very healthy" 7 percent while occupancy eked out a scant 0.1 percent increase over the summer of 2016.

Furthermore, that trend is only expected to continue.

"Even though summer occupancy was up only slightly, the strength of the consumer marketplace is apparent in strong rate increases that led to another summer revenue record," said Tom Foley, vice president of Business Intelligence for Inntopia, which is managed by Mountain Destinations. "This trend of flat occupancy along with increasing daily rates started showing up last winter and persisted throughout the summer and is now evident in the winter data for November through April arrivals."

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