What You Ought to Know About Destination Mountain Travel...
May 7, 2015
Ski Industry
Visits to U.S. ski areas fall 5 percent in 2014-15

The snowless winter in California overwhelmed the snowy East to yield the ski resort industry's second worst season in 16 years. Resorts across the U.S. saw visits fall to 53.6 million, according to a preliminary count by the National Ski Areas Association.

While it wasn't as bad as the 2011-12 season, when visits plummeted 16 percent from the previous season to 51 million, visits for the 2014-15 season fell 5 percent. The season finished 3.8 percent below the five-year average of 55.7 million.

Snowfall was down 28 percent across the country, according to early results from the the NSAA's annual Kottke Survey.


Source:  The Denver Post Business. 

Skiing in May? New England ski resorts still open for business

The calendar says May, but some ski resorts across New England still have enough snow to make it feel like it's still winter.

More than a half-dozen ski areas across the region plan to offer skiing to anyone who doesn't want to put away their skis and snowboards just yet.

Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Sugarbush, Jay Peak and Killington in Vermont, Wildcat in New Hampshire and Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts all plan to offer lift-served skiing this weekend.


Source:  Boston ABC News WCVB. 

Whistler to extend ski season three extra weeks

Winter sports enthusiasts who haven't gotten their fill of powder in Washington this winter can still head north to hit the slopes.

Whistler Blackcomb announced Tuesday that its extending it's skiing and snowboarding season three weeks to June 7.

Resort officials say low spring temperatures and over two feet of new powder in April are allowing them to stay open longer.

"The spring has delivered some fantastic skiing and snowboarding," says Doug Macfarlane, Director of Mountain Operations at Whistler Blackcomb.
Source: King 5.   Read More... 

The winter of 2014-2015 was big: huge snow for the East Coast, big moves by veteran industry player Vail Resorts, and an historic drought on the West Coast. With the latest announcement out of California that Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC plans to connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows with a gondola, it looks like skiing is going to get even bigger. A combined Squaw Alpine resort would clock in at a whopping 6,000 skiable acres, making it one of the largest ski areas in North America. 


Source: Ski Curbed.   Read More... 

Mountain Summer

Lift-served mountain biking keeps resorts going in summer

This past winter was just a tad on the dry side, eh?

Despite a survivable winter in Southwestern Montana - at least according to Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort - all is not well in the world of skiing and other winter sports.

Increasingly warm and dry winters, particularly on the West Coast, have left many ski areas struggling to stay in business. Several areas in California and Washington closed early this season, or went through multiple temporary closures, and some in California saw little to no snow for the fourth year in a row.


Source: Missoulian.  Read More... 

Tour of Utah route announced

Organizers of the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah have published maps and route details on its website for all seven days of the men's professional cycling stage race Aug. 3-9. A field of 16 of the best men's cycling teams in the world will compete over 712 miles and 51,442 feet of elevation gain, solidifying "America's Toughest Stage Race" as the most challenging 2.HC race in North America, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

With the overall start in Logan, the Tour of Utah will not only cover new territory in northern Utah, it will also roll through Idaho for the first time. This is the second time in the 11-year history of the Tour that a second state has been accessed for the race route (Wyoming visited in 2014). 


Source: Park Record Sports.  Read More... 
Destination Tourism

Colorado can track ROI for big tourism marketing budget, governor says

Tourism is booming in Colorado, setting back-to-back records in 2012 and 2013. But there's no guarantee the trend will continue, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday.

"Tourism, as much as any industry, requires ... maintaining your investments or growing them," he told tourism business leaders at the Discover Colorado Rally to mark National Tourism and Travel Week. "We can track very clearly how well our investments are paying off."


Source:  The Denver Post Business.   Read More... 

USA Pro Challenge route positions Summit County for a business win

Summit County wins this year's Pro Challenge.

While the strongest cyclist won't be crowned until the peloton sweeps through Denver in the fifth Colorado-traversing USA Pro Challenge bike race, Summit County is already celebrating its victory as a four-day host of the seven-stage race this summer.

"It's a Summit County extravaganza this year," said Rick Oshlo, the co-chairman of the local organizing committee that is guiding Breckenridge's fifth year hosting the celebrated professional bike race.


Source: The Denver Post Business.  Read More... 

Orlando Becomes First Destination To Surpass 60 Million Visitors, Sets New Record For U.S. Tourism

Visit Orlando, the destination's official tourism association, today announced that more than 62 million people visited Orlando in 2014. The announcement marks a new all-time record for the U.S. travel industry, solidifying Orlando's position as the most visited destination in the nation. Visitation grew five percent from 2013 as visitors from around the world came to experience all that is new across the ever-expanding destination. 

"This historic milestone is the latest testament to Orlando's leadership in tourism," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel.


Source:  Visit Orlando.   Read More... 
Lodging Industry
OTAs gaining bargaining power-now what? 

The recent slate of online-travel-agency consolidation has hoteliers speculating on what this means for negotiating commissions and the hotel-OTA relationship moving forward. In January, Expedia completed its purchase of Travelocity. A month later the company agreed to acquire Orbitz Worldwide. Not to be outdone, fellow OTA giant The Priceline Group countered with its February acquisition of Rocketmiles. The Orbitz and Rocketmiles acquisitions continue to make their way through legal channels. Expedia executives said on the company's first-quarter earnings call that they expect the Orbitz acquisition review to be completed by the end of the year. 


Source:  Hotel News Now.   Read More... 
Europe remerges as top summer travel destination

Sojern released its Q1 Global Travel Insights Report based on the rigorous analysis of more than 800 million traveler intent data points across the globe. From a currency perspective, the report reveals that the weaker euro is attracting large numbers of global tourists to European countries this summer, while the stronger dollar has yet to have a negative effect on worldwide search and booking to the US. In February, Japan benefited from an increase in inbound travelers from countries celebrating the Lunar New Year. In March, Tunisia and Egypt suffered the ill effects of a recent terror attack and the announcement of tighter visa rules, respectively. Throughout the quarter, searches to Cuba were on the rise from the US, as well as from other countries around the world.  


Source: Travel Daily News.     Read More... 
Sojern Releases Q1 Travel Trend Data Based on 400MM+ Traveler Intent Data Points

Sojern, the world's leading data-driven traveler engagement platform, today released the top U.S. consumer travel trends from the first quarter of the year, including most visited destinations, most desired/searched for destinations, average duration of stay, average size of travel party and more. The trends are based on the rigorous analysis of more than 400 million traveler intent data points, obtained through Sojern's exclusive partnerships with the world's most renowned travel brands. 

Source:  PR Newswire.   Read More...    

262 House lawmakers side with airlines in Open Skies dispute

A bipartisan group of 262 House lawmakers is pushing the Obama administration to wade into a dispute over foreign airline subsidies that has roiled the U.S. aviation industry. 

Unions that represent parts of the U.S. airline industry have alleged Middle Eastern airlines like Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines have received more than $42 billion in subsidies since 2004.


Source: The Hill.    Read More...  

Deflation? Oil's 45 percent rebound could be markets' next headache

Whisper it, but the next challenge for financial markets and policymakers may not be deflation, but the remarkable surge in oil prices from the six-year low touched in January.

Since then, Brent crude futures have risen 45 percent. If that is sustained or even increased throughout this year, inflation next year could rise significantly, posing questions for policymakers largely committed to ultra-loose policy.

No fewer than 27 central banks around the world have eased monetary policy to some extent this year in a battle against deflation, slowing growth or both.


Source:  Reuters.  Read More... 
Confidence in U.S. Ebbs, Catching Up With Spending Slowdown

Ever since December, the collision between cooling consumer spending and buoyant consumer confidence has puzzled economists and investors. The clash is over for now, and optimism has suffered.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to a four-month low of 95.2 in April, weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, according to figures from the New York-based private research group Tuesday. Government data Wednesday are projected to show purchases grew in the first quarter at less than half the pace of the previous three months.


Source:  Bloomberg Business.  Read More... 


 DestiMetrics Season's End

Subscriber Webinar 

 May 20 at Noon MDT


We've been talking about it and speculating about it for the past couple of months and now it's time to make our season's end industry-wide performance metrics official.  Plus we'll report on:


  • Our collective winter lodging performance overall and by region
  • How destination mountain lodging performed against skier visits
  • A preview of this summer's lodging performance based on reservations on the books
  • Economic indicators germane to destination mountain travel and discretionary spending
  • Analysis by Tom Foley & Ralf Garrison


NEW!  The roll out of "DestiMetrics 2.0" continues with a new look and new Subscriber functionality and report formats that will be live in late June.  A sneak peek of the new platform will be included in the webinar.

Subscribers Register Now! 

Login Required



 June 9-11, 2015

in Denver


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

 The 2015 agenda is a unique combination of high-level concepts, travel-specific best practices, and hands-on training presented by the best minds in travel.

 Check out the Agenda and our impressive Speaker List.

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

  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


May 20

DestiMetrics Subscriber Webinar 

(login to register) 

Subscribers Only


May 27 

Park City Area Lodging Meeting

Park City, UT


June 16

Vail Town Council Meeting 

Vail, CO


September 13 - 15

2015 Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference

Crested Butte, 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 
Quick Links
DestiMetrics Users Only
Join Our Mailing List
Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube
View our

 Volume 67