Weekdays in Breckenridge have been busier than weekends, according to tourism data | SummitDaily.com

Weekdays in Breckenridge have been busier than weekends, according to tourism data

The Breckenridge Welcome Center, which houses the Breckenridge Tourism Office, is pictured Thursday, Aug. 19, along Main Street in Breckenridge. Tourism during this summer has peak days being on weekdays, rather than weekends, according to data from the Breckenridge Tourism Office.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Daily News

As summer steadily heads toward the beginning of fall, tourism staff in Breckenridge have released summer tourism data for 2022.  

Lucy Kay, chief operating officer of the Breckenridge Tourism Office, said that every year, the board does a deep dive using visitor data as well as destination metrics to adjust their strategies. According to recent data from the Breckenridge Tourism Office, nights of occupancy for summer 2022 — as of July 31 — were behind what the nights were on the books at the same time last summer and in 2019. Visitor intercept data as of Aug. 11 showed that 13% of overall responding visitors were day visitors, and of those day visitors, just under half were out-of-state visitors.  

“When you look at our day visitors, almost half of those day visitors are out-of-state guests that are just driving in from Eagle County or someplace else for the day,” Kay said. “When you take that half of that 13%, put it with the overnight (guests) at 64%, 70% of our summer visitors are from out of state. It’s generally significantly higher in the summer than the winter because of course we get a lot more skiers driving up from the Front Range in the wintertime.”

The tourism office also had access to cell phone tracking data, which showed that the middle of the week has become some of the busier times for visitors compared to 2019 when weekends were the busiest days. Kay said that recent data privacy laws could have impacted the data, so there is some scrutiny, but there is enough data for cell phone tracking to be used. She said that looking at overall trends is helpful rather than hard numbers. 

“I mean, it’s remarkable that our midweek now is bigger than the weekends,” Kay added. 

As part of destination management, the office has released its “B Like Breckenridge” campaign that features more than 100 tips to promote more responsible tourism in Breckenridge. These include trail etiquette, sustainability advice and tips on safety in the outdoors. To promote the campaign, the tourism office has carved out $150,000 for a local media campaign, including print, television and radio promotions.

Kay said 59% of visitors have heard of “responsible stewardship,” compared to 43% in 2021. When looking at local residents 16% are aware of the “B Like Breckenridge” campaign.

Ginny Vietti, the vice president of marketing at Breckenridge Grand Vacations and who is on the board for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, said that looking toward 2023-2025, the board will look at if there are any strategies that need shifting. 

The tourism office discussed its strategy at the Breckenridge Town Council’s meeting on Aug. 23. Members of the council said they have heard from residents that the town feels busier and more crowded. Some theorized that traffic may make it feel more crowded since data shows that there aren’t necessarily more people, and others said that staffing shortages could be contributing to the feeling of the town being busier.

Kay said that the balance of winter revenue versus summer revenue is traditionally 60% to 40%. For the 2020-2021 season, it was closer to 45% of revenue coming during the summer, but Kay said that this summer would likely be closer to 40%. Cost of travel could have affected those numbers and 2021 was considered an especially busy season. 

“We had this huge discussion about event fatigue right before the pandemic fixed it, but (fatigue) will come back,” Mayor Eric Mamula said. “We will just cycle back to event fatigue — which doesn’t necessarily mean events — just means crowd fatigue. I just want to be cognizant of that.  We were there, and the only thing that fixed it was a global health scare. I don’t want to cause another pandemic just to fix it next time. I’d rather think about it as we go on into planning.”

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