What You Ought to Know About Destination Mountain Travel...
August 5, 2015
Ski Industry

2014-15 Ski Industry Statistics & Trends: Facts, Stats & Skier Visits

So how was your season? Maybe you skied more days than last year, or maybe not. Did you try a new resort this year, or just stick close to home? Did you buy a season pass or get day ticket? Did you bring a friend to try snowboarding or skiing?

Ski areas are also asking themselves these same questions (or variations on these questions) as they wrap up their season and tally statistics from the winter. Some operational metrics that ski areas pay close attention to include skier visits, season passes sold, beginner lessons taught, and, of course, weather and snowfall. Let's find out how the season went during the 2014/15 winter.


Source:  Huffington Post Travel. 

2 Utah Ski Resorts Owned by Vail to Be Known as 'Park City'

Two neighboring Utah ski resorts owned by Vail Resorts and being combined into one mega resort will be known simply by the name of the mountain city where it is located: "Park City."

Park City chief operating officer Bill Rock announced the new name and logo in front of several hundred people who munched on hors d'oeuvres during a public presentation at the resort. Rock said the new brand name seizes on the international recognition for the city.

"When people are out in the world and they talk about where they are going to ski, they say 'I'm going to go ski in Park City,'" Rock said. "The town is just an integral party of what we do."


Source:  ABS News. 

The new Sweetwater gondola and 15 other projects on the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are now one step closer to reality.

The land manager in charge of the ski area, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, signed off last week on a draft decision notice and "finding of no significant impact" for the suite of projects, which range from a zip line to expansion of the Casper restaurant. The tentatively approved plans are now subject to an "objection process," and are open again to public review.

Bridger-Teton supervisor Patricia O'Connor said in a statement that the resort's improvement plan "provides enhanced winter and summer opportunities."


Source: Jackson Hole News & Guide.    

Mountain Accord Approved to Move Forward

The executive committee of Utah's Mountain Accord, an organization composed of ski industry professionals and conservation groups, unanimously approved a plan for the future development of the Wasatch Mountains at Sandy City Hall on Monday, according to Curbed Ski. Mountain Accord's goals are to improve transportation, protect the environment, and boost recreation and the economy in the Central Wasatch through land swaps, tunnels, and other forms of redesign.

Mountain Accord is not legally binding at this point, but some ski resorts have already agreed to swap some of their land for federal acreage and other incentives.


Source:  Outside Magazine. 

Crested Butte Moves Forward on Resort Expansion Plans

Crested Butte Mountain Resort just received word from the US Forest Service stating that plans can move forward on a 500-acre expansion of the ski area. Although the project is still in its initial stages, the Forest Service has officially accepted the resort's project proposal in accordance with Crested Butte's 2013 Master Development Plan. The move paves the way for an environmental review of the project, and if that goes well, for construction to start in the next few years.

Crested Butte's Final Master Development Plan aims to do three things:


Source:  Ski Curbed. 
Destination Tourism
Ski slopes lure summer crowds with food, wine

The old standby hamburger is having its moment in the spotlight.

This weekend, Copper Mountain will throw its first annual Colorado Burger Summit food festival in an attempt to gobble up a piece of summer tourism traffic.

"We narrowed it down between wings and burgers, talked to some restaurateurs, and they said that burgers are the No. 1 menu item across the board," spokeswoman Holly Robinson said.  "Also, it's really easy to sample size, where you can just do sliders. With other foods, it's harder to sample."


Source:  Business Den.    Read More...  

The Winter Park Ski Train Reboot Is Shifting Into Higher Gear

The Winter Park Ski Train was once an iconic part of Colorado lifestyle, carrying skiers from Denver's Union Station to the slopes for decades starting in 1940. Now, for the first time in six years, there's talk of reviving the train, possibly as soon as this winter. 

What might this new ski train be like?

The goal is this: Starting in the 2016-2017 ski season, a person could land at Denver International Airport in the morning, take the new East Rail Commuter Line to Union Station, board the Ski Train and arrive right at the slopes of Winter Park without ever needing a car -- all in about three hours. Winter Park says it's the only place in North America where it's possible to take the rails all the way to a ski resort.


Source:  Colorado Public Radio. 
DestiMetrics in the News

Summer Lodging Revenues, Occupancy Soar in West

Summer revenues among lodging properties at 19 mountain destinations in six mountain states are up 12.5 percent over last year, while future reservations are up 6.8 percent. The figures, compiled by DestiMetrics, are based on occupancy and bookings for the six months from May through October.

Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics, highlighted that revenues for June alone were up 8.1 percent and occupancy was up 4.8 percent compared to June 2014. "Bookings made in June for the remainder of the summer remained strong, and 74 percent of last summer's entire business has already been realized or booked," he added.

Source:  Ski Area Management. 
Mountain Town News

Rental Housing Crunch Hits Mountain Towns

The great housing crunch isn't confined to the Denver metro area, it seems some Colorado mountain towns are also suffering in the rental market.

Experts say the last time they conducted a survey of available places for rent in Summit County they found a total of zero.

When asked to describe the housing market in the high country for rentals, Summit Combined Housing Authority spokeswoman Jennifer Kermode replied, "Crisis."

While more people are traveling and staying in mountain towns, properties for those who want to stay in the area are on the decline.


Source: CBS Denver.  Read More... 
Study links vacation rentals to housing crisis

Short-term vacation home rentals are big business.

From Breckenridge to Park City, mountain towns cracked down -- starting in 2009 -- on property owners who were renting to vacationers without required permits and licenses and skipping out on taxes.

Now, according to a Colorado Association of Ski Towns report released in June, the growth of vacation home rentals on online hosting sites has led to more challenges beyond noncompliance and lost revenue.

Community concerns have shifted to long-term rental housing loss, neighborhood character changes, zoning regulations and problems with parking and noise.


Source: Casper Star Tribune.  Read More...   

Lodging Industry

Voice still a viable booking channel

Marketers might be focusing more on mobile devices as a means to capture bookings via optimized sites and apps, but the good-old-fashioned voice channel remains as relevant as ever. 

An April report from D.K. Shifflet and Associates found that offline reservation methods tallied 43% of all reservations in 2014, compared with 49% for laptop/desktop, 4% for smartphone and 4% for tablet.

And call center and direct-to-property channels, of which voice is a subset, accounted for 55% of hotel bookings during 2014, according to Phocuswright research. Mobile bookings made on hotel branded websites, meanwhile, accounted for only 2%.


Source:  Hotel News Now.   Read More... 

Short-term housing rental industry giant Airbnb now lists more than 1 million rooms available in 192 countries. The platform's largest market is in New York City, with more than 25,000 listings per night, but it's also where the debate over how to regulate short-term rentals is the most contentious. In light of a new report by the NY Attorney General that says nearly three-quarters of Airbnb's listings in the city are technically illegal, the city is cracking down. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

Source:  PBS Newshour. 

San Francisco Revamps Airbnb Regulations

Investors love Airbnb, but the reaction in its own backyard has been mixed.

The hometown of accommodation-sharing website Airbnb has come to a tentative resolution in a long fight over how often people can rent out their houses and apartments online.

After multiple rounds of debate over 60-day, 75-day and even 120-day caps on rentals, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to keep the current 90-day cap in place when the host is not present and allow unlimited days when the host is present.


Source:  Time Magazine.   Read More... 
Airline Industry
It's time for the Uber of air travel

Airbnb changed the hotel industry. Uber changed ground transportation. So why can't the same change happen for air travel?

Airlines are ready for disruption. With only four large airlines controlling more than 80 percent of domestic air travel, the industry is a classic oligopoly. Even the government, which is currently investigating airlines for collusion, seems to agree.

Air travelers, who complain of higher prices and fewer choices, say they're ready for the next Uber to take flight. And now Congress is in a good position to actually encourage competition through smarter regulation. The latest Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, now being drafted by lawmakers, could pave the way for a more competitive airline industry.


Source:  Time Magazine.   Read More... 
Value-seeking Millennials Turn to the Sharing Economy

Millennials planning to spend less on summer vacations this year, are more trusting of-and likely to use-the "sharing economy" for travel, according to a survey from Allianz Global Assistance USA.

The survey, the sixth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, was based on a national representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults who were polled last month. Allianz Global is an insurance company with a specialty in travel.

Americans are generally more confident that they will be taking a vacation this summer, but they will be spending less overall on their summer vacations with the culprit being millennials turning to less expensive "sharing economy" alternatives like Airbnb, Uber and Home Away, according to the survey.  


Source:  Travel Market Report.   Read More...    

Skift Manifesto on the Future of Travel in 2020

Skift is three years old today.

July 30, 2012 seems like eons ago from where we are today, for us immersed in the vastness of one of the world's most exciting sectors. But that was our first day, and we are proud of where we've come since then.

Three years ago we had lots of naive hopes of conquering the world of business information in travel. Three years later, as the largest travel industry intelligence news and insights company, we hope to continue to be the naive ones. 


Source:  Skift.  Read More... 
Consumer confidence plunges in July

Consumer confidence took a dive this month.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 90.9 in July, a 10-month low.

Economists had estimated that the index fell to 100.0 from 101.4 in June.

In the release, the Conference Board's Lynn Franco said: "Consumer confidence declined sharply in July, following a gain in June. Consumers continue to assess current conditions favorably, but their short-term expectations deteriorated this month."


Source:  Business Insider.  


DMX logo

Subscriber Quarterly Webinar
Aug. 19 at Noon MDT

Join us the DestiMetrics team for our quarterly webinar where Subscribers are invited to our summer update on lodging performance, how it summer compares to winter's performance and to previous seasons.  We'll also take our first peek at the 2015/16 winter outlook based on advanced reservation data and will present current market conditions utilizing broad economic indicators and what they mean to the mountain travel industry. 

 DestiMetrics Market Intelligence Pack Subscribers are invited to attend the webinar and may register by logging in to www.destimetrics.com and clicking on the registration link.  


Please direct any questions to Katie Barnes at kbarnes@destimetrics.com

or 970-390-4370.


Upcoming presentations and appearances


August 17

Colorado Hotel Lodging Association Condo/Resort Forum

Vail, CO


August 19

DestiMetrics Quarterly Subscriber Webinar


September 13 - 15

2015 Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference

Crested Butte, CO


October 1 -2

CRADR Fall Meeting

Canyons Resort, UT


October 6

 Summit County COO Breakfast

Summit County, CO


October 9

Steamboat Springs Economic Summit

Steamboat Springs, CO


October 25 - 28

Vacation Rental Managers Association Annual Conference

New Orleans, LA 


November 8 - 12

Springer Miller Systems Host Users Group Conference

Bend, OR 


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 69