Tourism report shows ‘room to make up’ in Breckenridge as summer season comes to a close

Downtown Breckenridge is pictured here on Monday, April 25.
Andrew Maciejewski/Summit Daily News

As many look ahead to the Breckenridge ski season starting within the next few weeks, the Breckenridge Tourism Office gave an update to council members about how the end of the summer wrapped up following a lull in tourism across Summit County earlier in the year

Average daily rates for rooms are slightly up in Breckenridge — a trend that is in line with other mountain communities across the West.

Rates are up 1% above what they were last summer, averaging about $219, according to Bill Wishowski director of operations at the tourism office. Daily rates for the industry as a whole are up 5% year over year, averaging about $375, according to DestiMetrics, a business that collects data from different vacation destinations. Revenue per available room is down 10% year over year. 

As of Sept. 30, the number of reserved nights was down about 7% from last year, Wishowski said. Communities across the West were down 4.4% during that same period, according to DestiMetrics.

“We’ve got a lot of room to make up. We believe that we will, but it’s going to be a tough road coming ahead,” Wishowski added. “When I look at demand year over year — over just the past few weeks in October — it’s not pacing the way it has in years past.”

Wishowski said that booked stays between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 right now are down 16% from last year. Other mountain communities are down 13%, according to DestiMetrics. He said some of that could be caused by the fact that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, and some schools may not get out for the winter holidays until Dec. 23.

“What we’re seeing is definitely not a Breckenridge issue,” Wishowski said. “It is definitely what’s happening in the industry, especially in the mountain industry.”

Although booking pace has slowed slightly, data also revealed that guests are making fewer reservations but are staying longer, according to an October report from Inntopia. The report claims a solid foundation for the winter season is being established with sustained high rates. Results are compiled from data through Sept. 30 from 17 western mountain destinations in seven states.

Council member Jeffrey Bergeron said that less people in Breckenridge could mean some relief when it comes to long lines and congestion in town, making for a better vacation experience for visitors.

“(Lower bookings) translates to be less bodies sleeping here,” he said. “But the people that are here are generally going to get better service, a better experience, quicker reservations and a little bit more user-friendly Breckenridge experiences.”

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