What You Ought to Know About Destination Mountain Travel...Sept. 23, 2014
Ski Industry

Whistler Blackcomb Named No. 1 Ski Area in North America by Readers of Ski Magazine

The 27th annual SKI Magazine Reader's Poll has named Whistler Blackcomb the No. 1 overall best ski resort in North America. The online survey saw 41,000 resort rankings submitted by SKI Magazine readers and ranks the top 50 North American ski resorts in a variety of categories valued by ski and snowboard enthusiasts. In addition to being voted No. 1 in overall ranking, Whistler Blackcomb also received top marks in the terrain variety, off-hill activity and après categories, solidifying the resort truly has something to offer everyone.


Source:  CNW.   Read More... 
Controversial Ski Link eliminated from refined plan to link 7 Utah resorts

Ski Utah is offering a few more details about where lifts would be needed to make One Wasatch, its plan for interconnecting the seven Wasatch Mountain ski resorts, a reality.

Two sets of lifts are envisioned in a conceptual plan to be released Tuesday, said Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah, marketing arm for the state's ski industry.

The first set, connecting Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood canyons, would require Alta Ski Area to install a lift up Grizzly Gulch to the ridgeline, where it would hook up with a lift coming up Honeycomb Canyon from Solitude Mountain Resort.



Source:  The Salt Lake Tribune.   Read More... 

Resort Transactions
Vail Acquires Park City Mountain Resort, Doubling Utah Ski Options

The just announced and immediate $182 million purchase of Utah's Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) is a win-win for skiers in Utah and across the nation. The ski resort was mired in controversy and looked likely to be closed and miss the entire 2014-15 ski season after its owners apparently failed to properly renew their lease on the slopes. "We are very pleased to bring a permanent end to this dispute and provide assurance to the guests and employees of PCMR, and to everyone in the Park City community, that they no longer have to worry about any disruption to the operation of the Resort," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN).

Source:  Forbes.    Read More...  
Intrawest buys half of Canadian ski resort it doesn't already own

Denver's Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc. will pay $52.5 million for the half of Blue Mountain Ski Resort it doesn't already own.

Intrawest (NYSE: SNOW), which operates the Winter Park and Steamboat ski resorts in Colorado, has been a partner in Blue Mountain since 1999. The company said Friday it has a definitive agreement in place and expects the purchase to close by the end of this month.

Blue Mountain is the largest ski resort in Ontario and is about 90 miles northwest of Toronto. Intrawest said it doesn't anticipate making significant changes to the resort or to its staff.


Source:  Denver Business Journal.    Read More...  
Cumming family acquires majority interest in Snowbird

Snowbird Tram The Cumming family, owner of Park City Mountain Resort parent Powdr Corp., has purchased a majority interest in Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort said on Monday.

The deal is between the Cumming family and the Bass family. Dick Bass was a co-founder of Snowbird in the 1970s and the family has owned the resort outright since the early part of that decade. Powdr Corp., the Cumming family-controlled firm that owns PCMR and other mountain resorts across the U.S., was not involved in the deal.


Source:  Park Record.    Read More...  
 DestiMetrics on the News
It's A Record-Breaking Summer For High Country Business 

It's official - Colorado's high country is on track to set a record for summer business.

The information from Denver-based DestiMetrics is based on the number of rooms booked and just how much money businesses in resort towns took in.

"Summer business continued its strong performance through August with double-digit growth in every month from May through August," DestiMetrics Director Ralf Garrison said in a statement. "Although we still have two more months to add to our final summer tally, we know the record is set and we are now going to turn our focus to the upcoming winter," he added.


Source:  CBS4 Denver.    Read More...  

 Destination Tourism
Championships spur entries into rental pool

Think you're going to make a killing renting your place for the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships? Here's a number to keep in mind: 65 percent. That was the lodging occupancy rate at Whistler during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Given that almost all the alpine events at Vancouver were at Whistler/Blackcomb, you'd think the lodging would have been packed, but that's not the case. Still, there are people in the valley looking to rent out their homes for the first half of February, and at least some of whom expect top dollar for their units.


Source: Vail Daily.    Read More...  

Bud Light turns tiny ski town into 'Whatever, USA'

Bud Light turned this town blue, and everyone ended up pretty OK with that.

The Anheuser-Busch InBev beer brand for the weekend took over this tiny ski town, turning it into "Whatever, USA" as part of a major advertising stunt that included closing its main street and painting the pavement, bike racks and light posts blue.

In place of the usual fall tourists, from Friday night through Sunday, 1,000 Bud Light fans drank free beer, watched free concerts and partied on a specially created beach at 8,885 feet above sea level. Business owners across the town reported increased sales, especially at the town's legal marijuana stores.


Source:  USA Today.    Read More...  

Airline Industry
Telluride airport board hopes upgrades will attract commercial service

In an effort to make the Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) more accessible to more types of aircraft, efforts are underway to raise money for equipment upgrades.
The proposal would allow the airport to start evaluating and designing a category C, or a private instrument approach. The idea for the upgrade is geared toward getting commercial service back at TEX. Currently the airport is a category B approach, which officials say is incompatible with many aircraft currently in use by commercial airlines. TEX Board Chairman Jon Dwight said the board is going to be making presentations to local entities to raise money and would like to see things rolling by December.


Source: Telluride Daily PlanetRead More...  
Groups calls for airlines to list all fees

Consumer and travel groups on Thursday urged U.S. regulators to make the total price of airfares easier to compare by forcing airlines to supply travel agencies with information on additional fees that have become so popular over the past six years.

Advocates called the current process "unfair and deceptive" for consumers, who can't readily compare among airlines all-in prices for airfares including all the associated fees, such as those for checked bags, early boarding and extra-legroom seat assignments.

Source:  USA Today.  Read More... 
Lodging Industry
U.S. Hotel Industry is Hiring, Offers Good, High-Paying Jobs, Surveys Show

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and WageWatch, Inc., today released a survey that shows the hotel industry offers good, high-paying jobs with benefits and a fast track to senior positions within the hospitality sector.

The survey findings come as the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment report for August - released this morning -- show sustained job growth in the seasonally adjusted Accommodations segment of the Leisure and Hospitality sector. Labor data has seen 51 months of steady growth, recovering from pre-recession highs, and is at its highest level since 2008.


Source:  Hospitality Net.   Read More... 

Airbnb Under Fire From New 'Share Better' Campaign

The battle over the so-called sharing economy is heating up as New Yorkers question the impact of home-sharing sites like Airbnb.

A campaign called "Share Better," launched Friday by a coalition of elected officials, housing activists and hotel owners, makes the case that Airbnb listings are "illegal hotels" that are "robbing NYC of affordable housing and violating state law."

The campaign will focus on advertising and public education, aiming to serve as a counterweight to Airbnb's extensive ad campaign of recent months, which is partly aimed at bending New York state law in a direction more friendly to the company's business.


Source: Huffington Post.  Read More... 
Holiday.com domain name 'could sell for £21m'

Holiday.com is described as the "holy grail" of the travel industry by Breathe Luxury, a company that brokers domain names and which is selling it.

It has the potential be a leading international travel brand, with the firm that buys it expecting to rub shoulders with existing brands that hold equally memorable, search-engine friendly names such as Booking.comand Hotels.com.


Source:  Travel.   Read More...  

US travel and tourism industry supports 7.6 million jobs

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M Selig announced that total US travel and tourism-related employment increased to 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012. New data also shows that US travel and tourism industry-related spending increased by 4.1 percent in 2013 from the previous year, totaling nearly $1.5 trillion.

Source: e Turbo News Global Travel Industry News.   Read More...  

As U.S. economy pulls ahead, dollar's strength reaches new highs

In the world of currencies, the dollar is starting to look like a safe home in a tough neighborhood.

A strengthening American economy, combined with a gloomy outlook for growth elsewhere, is pushing the currency sharply higher.

The dollar is up 6.4 percent against a group of major currencies since the start of May and has risen in three of the past four months. It climbed on Tuesday to its highest level in six years against the Japanese yen, and it's trading at its highest level in 14 months against the euro.


Source:  Trib Live.   Read More...  

Consumer Confidence Is Hot

The University of Michigan's preliminary reading on September consumer confidence came in at 84.6. 

Expectations were for the reading to come in at 83.5, up from 82.5 in August's final reading. That number soundly beat expectations. 

Twelve-month economic outlook expectations came in at 99 against a final reading of 88 for August. 


Source:  Business Insider.   Read More...  

Mountain Travel News, issued by DestiMetrics, is designed to provide relevant and timely market information to the destination mountain travel industry.
Upcoming presentations and appearances

September 30

Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

Big Sky, MT


October 2-3

Central Reservations Association of Destination Resorts (CRADR)

Schweitzer Mtn, ID


October 9

Summit Chamber of Commerce COO Breakfast

Summit County, CO


October 19-21

Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association - Condo Resort Group Luncheon

Colorado Springs, CO


October 24

Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST) Quarterly Meeting

Ouray, CO


November 21

Keystone Neighbourhood Company

Keystone, CO 


December 19

Vail Valley Partnership Annual Meeting

Vail Valley, CO


January 28, 2015

The ASSEMBLY 2015 

Denver, CO


Note: If you're planning on attending any of these events and would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact Katie Barnes at kbarnes@destimetrics.com or 970-390-4370.
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