What You Ought to Know About Destination Mountain Travel...
April 1, 2015
Ski Industry
With less snow, Utah ski resorts start to wind down the season

Despite what many Utahns think, the 2014-15 ski season was not a complete loss.

Most skiers and snowboarders reported better-than-expected conditions throughout the season - at least until the recent spate of warm weather.

"There are brown spots everywhere. It is tragic," John Eckert said Wednesday while basking in the sun at Solitude Mountain Resort's parking lot in Big Cottonwood Canyon. "Instead of finishing with 350 to 400 inches [of annual snowfall], it's like 200."


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

Vail Goes Global, Acquires Largest Ski Resort In Southern Hemisphere

There has been a lot of consolidation in the ski resort business lately - but there has never been anything quite like this.

One of the few publically traded ski resort operators, Vail Resorts, Inc. today announced its first overseas acquisition, Australia's Perisher Ski Resort, for approximately $136 million. Known simply as "Perisher" in New South Wales, it is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, and the most visited in Australia. In addition to the trails and lifts, Vail will take over the ski school, onsite lodging, food and beverage, retail/rental, and transportation operations, a vertical integration the company has excelled at here in the States.


Source:  Forbes. 

Report: Major Ski Resort Sell-Off May be in the Works, Tourism Would Not be Affected

CNL Lifestyle Properties, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), is considering selling off its portfolio of 16 ski resorts collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the Associated Press via ABC Newsannounced. If sold to a single buyer, it would be the biggest ski resort purchase in history, but winter sports tourists can still schuss to their heart's content.

The 16 properties include Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Crested Butte in Colorado, Brighton in Utah, and Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe in California.


Source:  Travel Pulse. 

Sale of Durango Mountain Resort finalized with name change back to Purgatory

Durango investor and skier James Coleman on Wednesday finalized his purchase of Durango Mountain Resort and announced he is changing the name of the 50-year-old southern Colorado ski area back to Purgatory.

"Like many of the locals and our long-time guests, I've always known this mountain as Purgatory, and with next winter being our 50th anniversary, we believe it's appropriate to officially change the resort's name back to Purgatory," Coleman said in a statement.

Source: The Denver Post Business.  

New owner is planning upgrades for Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

The new owner of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit has begun considering upgrades to Southern California's top local peaks, including plans to expand mountain biking trails and connect the two neighboring resorts.

Mammoth Resorts, the operator of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in the Sierra Nevada, completed the estimated $38-million deal over the weekend to acquire the two resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains, putting Mammoth Resorts in control of more than 4,000 acres of skiable land in California.

Source: The LA Times.  
Destination Tourism

Drought alters the face of Tahoe tourism

Drought is reshaping Lake Tahoe and its all-important tourism industry.

Seven ski resorts have shut down early for the season because of a shortage of snow. The latest is Sugar Bowl Resort, which will turn off its chairlifts at the close of business Sunday.

The long-term impact goes deeper. As California's drought stretches into its fourth year, ski resorts, hotel owners and others are scrambling to find new ways to get tourists to the lake. They're relying less on snow and putting greater emphasis on entertainment, fine dining and other forms of recreation.


Source:  The Modesto Bee.   Read More... 

Economic Factors Look Good For Mountain Tourism That's Already On Record Pace

The tourism industry in Colorado's high country continues its record pace, according to a group of Denver-based economists.

"The biggest thing is a very positive booking trend over the last several years driven by a good economy and positive snow; the two pistons in the engine." said Ralf Garrison, Director of DestiMetrics.

With skier visits up 4 percent in Colorado so far this winter, other economic factors are looking even better.

Source:  CBS4 Denver.   Read More... 
Lodging Industry
Hotel Occupancy To Hit Record High In 2015 

The U.S. lodging industry will continue to achieve very strong growth in rooms revenue per available room (RevPAR) during both 2015 and 2016 according to the recently released March 2015 edition of PKF Hospitality Research's Hotel Horizons.  The report further predicts that the composition of the factors driving the RevPAR is starting to shift with record-setting occupancy yielding ground to growing average daily rates (ADR).


Source:  CBRE.   Read More... 
Among America's millennials who travel, half have spouses and children

There are many things said about millennials, the generation coming of age. But one thing that's rarely noted is that half of them are married with children.

This fact should matter to destination marketing organizations, travel websites and apps, and other trade companies. To craft effective digital marketing campaigns, it's important to get the message right. Rather than acting like kids, millennials are, as often as not, raising kids.

So much for the all-purpose stereotype of a carefree, single person who typically brings a selfie-stick with them while hiking Machu Picchu and couchsurfing.


Source: Tnooz.com.     Read More... 
Tourists Flocked to U.S. Last Year, but Strong Dollar Clouds 2015 Outlook

The U.S. hosted a record number of international visitors last year, though a stronger dollar is making travel to the country more expensive and could cloud the outlook for the tourism industry this year.

The number of international visitors to the U.S. rose 7% to nearly 75 million in 2014, according to data from the Commerce Department. Travel spending from overseas visitors also rose for the entire year, though a month-by-month breakdown of trade data shows that increases slowed toward the end of the year, and spending fell slightly during January.


Source:  The Wall Street Journal.   Read More...    

U.S. airlines group expects busiest spring season in 7 years

U.S. airlines are expected to carry more passengers this spring than they have in seven years, Washington-based trade group Airlines for America said on Wednesday.

The group estimates that about 134.8 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during March and April, up almost two percent compared to the same time last year.

U.S. carriers are increasing the number of seats available for booking by 3 percent to accommodate the demand, the group said in a news release.


Source: Reuters.    Read More...  

U.S. consumer confidence, house prices offer hope for economy

U.S. consumer confidence rebounded strongly in March amid optimism over the labor market while house prices increased in January, hopeful signs that a recent sharp slowdown in economic activity was probably a blip.

A combination of harsh winter weather, a now-settled labor dispute at the country's busy West Coast ports, softer global demand and a strong dollar dampened growth early in the first quarter.

The moderation in activity is a replay of early 2014, when an unseasonably cold winter caused a contraction in output, which was followed by a sharp rebound in growth.


Source:  Reuters.  Read More... 



Destination Summit

Returns to Denver

 June 9-11, 2015


Join us for Hands-On Marketing Technology Insight and Training for Travel Professionals

 The 2015 agenda will be a unique combination of high-level concepts, travel-specific best practices, and hands-on training presented by the best minds in travel. Here is a short list of what you can learn this June in Denver. 

    -Travel Marketing & Millennials
    -Data & Distribution
    -Email Marketing 101 & 201
    -Data-Driven Personalization
    -E-Commerce Best Practices
    -Google Tag Manager
    -Conversion Rate Optimization
    -Increasing Golf Revenue 
    -And, of course, much more


 Book your room for just $199 through April 30 (or when they run out, whichever comes first).

For details, visit destination-summit.com or register now! 




Preliminary School Break Report

Now Available



Our School Break Report for the 2015/16 school year is now available for purchase, just in time to help you plan for next year.  It includes holiday, winter and spring break dates as well and school year start and end dates for nearly 300 public school districts and 300 four year colleges/universities as well as graphical depictions of year over year changes in break patterns.   Also included is a tabular view of schools by state and enrollment.


A preliminary report is available now, which includes data from more than half of the schools in the final report.  The final report will be available by June 1st.


For more detailed information and a sample report, click here.  To sign up to receive one or both reports, fill out our Sign Up Form and send it to kbarnes@destimetrics.com.


Upcoming presentations and appearances


April 15 & 16

Mountain Travel Symposium

Whistler, BC


April 16 & 17

CRADR Spring Meeting

Whistler, BC


April 22, 2015

DestiMetrics Subscriber Webinar

Subscribers Only


June 9 - 11

Destination Summit

Denver, CO


June 16

Vail Town Council Meeting

Vail, 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 
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 Volume 66