More Labor Day travelers expected in mountains than ’09 | SummitDaily.com

More Labor Day travelers expected in mountains than ’09

ROBERT ALLEN
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – More travelers are expected in the mountains during Labor Day weekend this year than in 2009, and occupancy rates in Breckenridge are up 5 percent.

“We’re definitely seeing a pick-up from last year,” said Emily McCormack with the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.

At the current rate of bookings, the number of visitors staying in the town could be as much as 7 percent over last year, she said.

The town’s occupancy this weekend is expected to be about 60 percent – which is typical of summertime, when bigger weekends range from 60-80 percent occupancy, McCormack said.

AAA Colorado expects travelers in the mountain region this holiday weekend to increase 11 percent from 2009. About 2.68 million people are to vacation at least 50 miles from home across eight mountain states, according to a AAA press release.

Trips by automobile are expected to increase 10 percent from last year. The price of gasoline has been relatively steady this summer, averaging about $2.71 per gallon in Colorado.

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People taking vacations by airplane are expected to increase by 4.6 percent to 1.62 million this holiday weekend. And people are expected to travel farther this year than they did last year, according to AAA.

Meanwhile airfares this weekend are expected to increase 9 percent from last year, with the lowest round-trip rates at $179 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. Car rentals are to be up 6 percent and hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase 6 percent from 2009 to $139 per night, according to the press release.

The AAA projections are based on research by IHS Global Insight.

Travel Leaders, a travel company that surveys travel agents, managers and owners in Colorado’s larger cities, reports that 50 percent of those surveyed are optimistic for the remainder of 2010 while 37.5 percent are neutral and 12.5 percent are pessimistic.

Asked to compare 2010 overall travel bookings with 2009, 50 percent of the Colorado cities recorded decreases while 25 percent said they were higher.