Summer biz looking good Summit County
May 7, 2012
Visits to the mountains, and possibly business, is looking up for this summer.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty busy summer,” said Dillon marina manager Bob Evans.
The long-range forecast says it’s going to be hotter than normal in neighboring states, Evans said, which could make people want to get away to a cooler mountain climate like Summit County.
The marina has already been pretty busy because people were excited to get an early start to the season, Evans said. Also, Fourth of July this year is on a Wednesday, which means visitors might opt to take an extra two days of vacation from work on either end of the holiday.
At the Breckenridge Resort Chamber, the number of summer nights booked through Breckenridge Central Reservations is almost double what they were at the same time last year, according to Bill Wishowski, vice president of the resort chamber and central reservations.
June reservations are pacing about 30 percent ahead of last year, with the biggest occupancy spikes occurring between June 5-8, and 19-21, according to a March 31 occupancy report, Wishowski said. Fourth of July is also up compared to last year, although the middle-of-the-week holiday throws a bit of a curveball into things because it’s unsure right now if people will plan a vacation for the weekend before, or after, Wishowski said.
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“For several years now, summer business has been growing, and continues to look like it will be year after year,” said Ralf Garrison, director of Mountain Travel Research Program. The service looks at upcoming lodging reservations and compares them to previous years to provide an aggregate.
One of the biggest reasons summer business has been growing is that, as the economy got tougher, people stay closer to home for vacation, Garrison said. Also, there’s more value in getting away in the summer rather than the winter. And, as the economy has slowly improved over the past year or two, people are starting to feel more willing to spend discretionary money again.
Both the economic indicators and advance reservations – which do not include those who take a day trip to the mountains – are supporting the idea of a better summer season over last year, Garrison said.
“The tide has been rising and supporting summer,” he said.
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