What You Ought to Know About Destination Mountain Travel...
Dec. 4, 2015
Ski Industry
With November snow storms and ski resort openings ahead of schedule across the West, lodging numbers are already looking up for the winter season, according to Denver-based DestiMetrics - a company that monitors lodging trends at western mountain destinations. The impact could mean a long-awaited boost to mountain economies, especially in resort areas farther west, like Lake Tahoe, which have been hurt by below-average snowfall in recent years. "Resorts have not only been opening, but they've been opening bigger and earlier than the past," DestiMetrics director Ralf Garrison said, describing weather and economy as the two most significant influences on destination tourism in winter.

Source:  Sierrasun.com. 
Just about everyone who's anyone on the World Cup circuit has been to Copper this November. For several years now - at least since the debut of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center in 2011 - the resort has been the go-to training ground for ski clubs and international pro teams early in the season. There's a little something for everyone: A giant slalom course on Copperopolis, a full-length downhill at the speed center, the year-round foam pit at Woodward, a superpipe for the Revolution Tour qualifier on Dec. 2. The lucky few freestyle teams that are already in town can start training in the pipe by Nov. 30. That makes it the first superpipe in Colorado.

Source:  Summit Daily. 
Ski resorts have spent considerable resources in recent years making sure they nurtured the next generation of skiers and boarders by creating innovative and fun classes for children, Now their mothers and older sisters are increasingly getting attention as women-only programs multiply across the Rocky Mountain range. Vail Resorts began researching women's participation levels in skiing and snowboarding in the winter of 2013-2014, and the results persuaded them to alter their ski school schedules and to hire female instructors to lead the classes, "We found the Majority people dropping ski school were mothers," said Rachael Woods, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts' Beaver Creek Resort, in Colorado.

Source:  The New York Times. 
As of November 18, many British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Montana ski resorts are dealing with an abundance of the white stuff, especially when compared to years past. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself. First we'll look at the Canadian ski hills: Don't fret if your beloved local ski hill wasn't listed. Either they're not reporting data before the ski season, or snow totals weren't that impressive yet ... there's still hope. Snow bases are currently building on Vancouver Island (Mt. Washington) and all the North Shore ski resorts. In fact, Seymour Mountain near Vancouver, B.C. will be opening up this weekend.

Source:  The Weather Network. 
Mountain Town News
They are living in tents in Crested Butte. In Telluride, they could soon be squeezed into portable shelters. They are in motels not suited for ski vacationers in Steamboat Springs. And in Breckenridge, some locals are living in their cars. "I feel like a bum. I have to shower in different places every day. We are getting treated like we are second-class citizens or something. But we keep this place alive," said Ellie Reiley, a 27-year-old restaurant worker and longtime Breckenridge resident who is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of mountain community residents scrambling for affordable housing in what most in the high country are calling a rental crisis.

Source:  The Denver Post. 
Aspen voters reject new affordable micro-hotel development in base 2. Mark Hunt was in charge of the project which was assumed to make quite an addition for tourists. However, things did not turn out the way it was supposed to be. If recalled, eEarlier in June the Ski Curbed reported that Mark Hunt was convinced that he would be able to have his "Base 2" project pull through despite the effort of Aspen voters reject new affordable micro-hotel development. The project was already approved by the city council and would require an election anytime if there's an approved project with certain variances.

Source:  Realty Today. 
Patrick O'Hare is hard-at-work renovating the short-term rental he just bought in Breckenridge. He bought it two weeks ago. During that time, it's already been booked by Thanksgiving holiday skiers. "It's already rented for 38 days. It's just crazy," O'Hare said. It's a fast lesson. When it gets cold, the vacation market heats up. If you're looking for a house or a townhome this holiday season, time is running out. Most properties are already taken, and now, mostly just smaller condos are available. "[We have] a few smaller places, and then one or two larger homes, but mostly we're pretty booked," Rachel O'Neal with Pinnacle Lodging in Breckenridge said.

Source:  9News. 
Lodging Industry
And so the buying spree continues: hungry online travel agency Expedia has again opened its wallet to acquire a big asset. Earlier this month it announced it reached a deal to purchase alternative accommodation provider HomeAway. It's the latest in a string of pricey buys for Expedia, which so far this year has snapped up such goodies as Orbitz Worldwide and Travelocity. Let's take a glance at this latest big purchase from the company, put it in a broader context, and see if it makes sense for its business.HomeAway sure looks expensive on the surface.

Source:  Fool.com. 
The market is at a tipping point. Millennials are poised to become the dominant consumer segment globally, tipped to spend $200 million annually from 2017.
NB: This is a viewpoint by Eddie Robb, managing director for Make It Social.
Businesses must begin to put themselves in the high top sneakers of Generation Y in order to stay relevant and responsive. Firms which are ignorant of this growth market, unwilling or unable to tweak traditional approaches in their business, may well be left at the starting gate.
So, are you ready?

Source:  Tnooz.com. 
Airline Industry
Gasoline prices are once again plummeting across the nation, and in the Hoosier State, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline is sitting at $1.79. Jet fuel prices have been dropping as well. However, airline fares haven't seen as drastic of a price drop. About 30 percent of airlines' operating costs are fuel. With the large dip in fuel prices, you might expect to see a dip in ticket prices, but that is not where the money has gone. Robert W. Mann Jr. is the president of airline consulting firm R.W. Mann Inc., and he says airlines have pocketed most of the savings. "The benefits of lower fuel prices are really going to the carriers, who then decide how to distribute it," he says.

Source:  Wbaa.org. 
Chances are that nobody involved in Fed policy decision making stood on any lines for bargains over the Thanksgiving weekend. But if monetary policy rises and falls based on specific economic data as it did with last month's employment report, then surely the results of this pre-holiday shopping weekend will be meaningful. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are the make or break blockbuster consumer spending events of every retailer business plan, so if holiday sales are below forecast, the odds of a Fed Funds rate hike in December should soften. 

Source:  Forbes. 
The consumer confidence index came in at 91.3, better than last month but below November's preliminary reading. Expectations were for the reading to come in at 93.1, unchanged from the preliminary reading earlier this month and up from a reading of 90 last month. This reading is, however, just slightly below the six-month average of 91.6. In a comment along with the report, Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, said: Nonetheless, the data indicate that consumers have become increasingly aware of economic cross currents in the domestic as well as the global economy. 

Source:  Business Insider. 

ASSY logo 
Destination Summer
Managing the Peaks and Valleys 

January 29, 2016
The ASSEMBLY features a full-day agenda targeted at stakeholders in year-round destination mountain travel.  The 2016 Agenda will place an emphasis on the growth and impact of Summer on mountain tourism economies.  We'll explore the peaks and valleys of our seasonal mountain economy, where peaks require management and mitigation and the valleys can be better marketed that will result in a balanced, sustainable year-round economy. 
The development of the 2016 Agenda is almost complete so be sure to check out general session and workshop topics. 
Registration fees are $225/person but various promotional rates are available through our partners.  Rates will increase on December 19th.
DestiMetrics Subscriber will always receive the best rate available.  Login to www.DestiMetrics.com to obtain your promo code for $75 off.

Upcoming presentations and appearances

December 15
Vail, CO

January 28

January 29
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 
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