What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
May 19th 2016
It's Official: Western Mountain Resort Lodging Sets New Winter Record
Telluride In a season frequently described as "interesting" because of pendulum shifts in both economic news and weather patterns, Denver-based DestiMetrics* announced in its monthly Mountain Market Briefing that occupancy and revenue set all time records during the 2015-16 winter season by surpassing the previous record set in the 2007-08 winter season. As of April 30, actual occupancy was up 4.4 percent and revenues were up 5.2 percent compared to last season. "There was a considerable amount of dynamic tension between economic forces and weather conditions that really shaped the ebbs and flows of this season," reported Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics.

Source:  DestiMetrics.com. 
Ski Industry
New "Snowfactory" System Will Make Snow All Summer Long in Tahoe
Big news or skiers and snowboarders looking to make turns in the next few months: innovative technology at Boreal Mountain Resort near Lake Tahoe will allow Woodward Tahoe to make snow all summer long. Called a "snowfactory," the snow-making system is able to make snow at any temperature, unlike traditional snow guns that require it to be under 28 degrees. According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, the crew at Boreal is the first in North America to use the snowfactory system. Boreal is using water from an onsite pond and sending it through a refrigeration process that freezes and harvests the water to produce thin flakes of dry ice sprayed through a snow gun. 
Source:  Ski.Curbed.com. 
Intrawest CEO says real estate market is 'primed,' ready for development
Steamboat Springs - During an earnings report Thursday, executives with Intrawest, the parent company of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said the real estate market was ripe for development at its resorts. "Our head of real estate, he's been working very, very hard with our outside architects and master planning firm," CEO Tom Marano said. "We have a number of good possible opportunities there." Marano, who joined Intrawest in November 2014, was CEO of a large, residential mortgage firm, Residential Capital, from 2008 to 2013. He also held a variety of positions throughout a 25-year career with Bear Stearns.

Source:  Steamboat Today. 
Vail Resorts seeks to secure 'Park City' trademark
Park City, the municipal government, plans to hold a discussion about the name 'Park City,' which is used by Colorado-based Vail Resorts to market Park City Mountain Resort. Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council on Thursday indicated they want to address the topic in response to a trademark application under consideration by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The elected officials held a brief talk about the topic but were not scheduled to address the issue in any depth on Thursday. They indicated they wanted to discuss the matter in more detail later. It is likely City Hall staffers will prepare a report outlining the details prior to the later meeting.

Source:  Park Record. 
Missing winter revenue is a mystery
In this  interregnum between winter and summer tourism, let's look back on the recently completed ski season. Big picture: Our ski areas did well. Skier days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee and Snow King totaled 560,400, 178,605 and 42,000, respectively. Grand Targhee's count was its highest ever, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's was its second highest. Even Snow King has something to brag about, for this year's skier day count was its highest in five years. As Graph 1 on page 11C suggests, each area also beat the number of skier days a simple statistical analysis predicted they would get this year.
Source:  Jackson Hole News & Guide. 
Jay Peak Overseer: 'Time to Remedy Wrongs'
Jay Peak The Securities and Exchange Commission told a South Florida federal court judge on Tuesday that Ariel Quiros has no business running two resorts in Vermont. Properties seized by the federal government last month should remain in the hands of a court-appointed receiver, SEC attorneys said, in order to protect the interests of 700 immigrant investors from 74 countries who were defrauded by Quiros as part of a massive "Ponzi-like" scheme in the Northeast Kingdom. At a two-day "cause" hearing in Miami, SEC lawyers detailed how Jay Peak developers Quiros and his partner Bill Stenger systematically defrauded investors. Federal regulators interviewed expert witnesses who explained that the two men padded project budgets and used elaborate bank transfers to cover up the misappropriation of $200 million in EB-5 immigrant investor funds.

Source:  Valley News. 
Destination Tourism
Tourism experts: Selling millennials on Lake Tahoe key to region's future 
Lake TahoeChange or get left behind. It's a motto for business, for the tech sector and apparently also for tourism marketing.
In a seemingly ever-growing global travel industry, the status quo just isn't enough to keep pace. Simply put, people have more options than they used to with expanded world travel and affordable airfare.
For a state like California, which annually relies on roughly $120 billion in tourism revenue, it is an important consideration - especially when Lake Tahoe visitation is down overall, in part because of increasingly competitive neighboring markets closer to the Bay Area. 

Source:   Sierra Sun. 
Rosy forecast for fall shoulder season
Sardy Field When the Aspen Music Festival and School takes its final bow of the summer season during the third week of August, tourist business usually follows. But this year might be different, as early reservations indicate the shoulder season that follows the peak summer period is looking surprisingly strong in Aspen and Snowmass Village.  "We are showing solid growth from mid-August through October," said Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, the local tourism arm that tracks occupancy figures.  He declined to offer solid numbers to back up the early projections, but reiterated, "Everywhere in the last year where advance bookings were not so strong are now looking strong."

Source:   Aspen Daily News. 
Busy summer of '16 starts early in Jackson
Shopping in Jackson Travelers nationwide may have some trepidation about the economy and the markets, but the ones coming to Jackson Hole don't seem to share those fears. "Summer's arriving - from a business standpoint - two weeks early this year," said Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeff Golightly.

Booking for travelers arriving in April were up, and occupancy rates between November and April climbed 1.1 percent compared with last year while room rates were up an average of 5.5 percent, according to the monthly DestiMetrics lodging report. Golightly said no one factor is driving what he termed "a perfect storm for a busy summer season."

Source:   Jackson Hole News & Guide. 
Lodging Industry
Airbnb visitors spent more per day than guests of any other accommodations category in Hawaii, a total of $353 million last year, according to an economic impact study conducted by Hospitality Advisors LLC on behalf of Airbnb. Average per-person daily visitor spending by Airbnb guests was $274 - more than hotel, condominium, time-share, bed and breakfast, and rental house visitors' daily expenditures, according to the report. Per-person spending last year totaled $230 for hotel guests, $166 for condo visitors, $138 for time-share visitors, $169 for bed and breakfast visitors, and $161 for rental house visitors.

Source:  Pacific Business News. 
In 2005, Susan and Bob Frank built their dream retirement home in North Topsail, N.C., a popular vacation spot known for its soft sand beaches. They planned to rent out the house, affectionately called the Flip Flop Inn, until they were ready to leave their home in Raleigh, N.C., and retire. Initially unsatisfied with a rental company, they began listing and marketing their home on VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). Susan Frank signed up for a Gold subscription with VRBO, which, at the time, advertised as a rental site for homeowners only. Rental agencies were not allowed.

Source:  GeekWire.com. 
Airline Industry
The US Airline Industry Earned $25.6 Billion Last Year
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that airlines earned huge profits in 2015. Data released by the DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed that, together, America's 25 commercial airlines took in $25.6 billion in after-tax profits. That is a massive increase compared to 2014, when the airlines earned a combined $7.5 billion. The third quarter of 2015 was, by far, the best three months of the year (and the best quarter in recent memory). From July through September, the industry's earnings topped $9 billion. Q4's profits came in at a still-impressive $7.7 billion.

Source:  travelpulse.com. 
U.S. air traveler patience with TSA at 'breaking point'
Get ready, America, for a summer full of long security lines at major airports, missed flight connections and millions of grumpy passengers. That's the warning from authorities at the nation's most congested and busiest airports and the Transportation Security Administration. Airports are starting to take matters into their own hands. In an unusual, strongly worded letter to the TSA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- which oversees the New York City area's three major airports -- has essentially threatened to fire the TSA by privatizing their passenger screening process. 

Source:  CNN. 
Gen Z Will Soon Transform the Travel Industry 
Yes, generation buzzwords like "millennial" and "Gen Z" are constantly being thrown around. And it's right to question the feasibility of defining an entire generation with a single keyword. However, the truth is that generations are changing. Two siblings, one millennial and one Gen Z (I'm talking from experience here), are likely drawn to different goals, priorities, and even social media networks. Now it's time to start thinking about Gen Z. Consisting of young people born late 1990s to 2010s, this generation will soon start setting off on their adventures - and it's likely they're going to be very different adventures from our own. Here are some predictions for how Gen Z will force the travel industry to catch up and keep up.

Source:  Huffington Post. 
Tourism Tradeoff: Low gas prices, stronger economy point to record summer travel
The conditions are right for a perfect storm of tourism this summer. "Gas prices are low, and employment is picking up," said Rick Harper, an economics professor with the University of West Florida in Pensacola."It's going to be the best summer for tourism that Northwest Florida has ever had." Harper said low gas prices throughout the year means many families have more expendable income, making them more inclined to travel this summer. "When gas prices are low, it puts more take-home pay in people's pocket," Harper said. Families "can put that toward vacation."

Source:  Panama City News Herald. 
DMX Mark
DestiMetrics LIVE Webinar 
Mountain Market Update
Tuesday, May 24
Noon MDT
Please join us for our quarterly Mountain Market Update Webinar entitled Wrapping up Winter on a High Note; Summer Going Gangbusters. During this webinar the  DestiMetrics team will review the winter season by taking an in depth look at our industry wide data and the market forces that affected mountain destination travel during the 2015/16 season. We'll also preview this summer's lodging performance based on reservations on the books. 

Subscribers can register by logging in to www.DestiMetrics.com and following the link.

If you're not a subscriber but would like to attend, please contact Katie Barnes to register.
Attention Destination Leaders!
Can You Answer These Questions About Your Destination?
  • What is your destination's collective occupancy, ADR & RevPAR?
  • Do you know how your non-hotel accommodations are performing?
  • How are advanced reservations in your destination pacing against previous years?
  • Are your events driving overnight visitation?
  • What is the profile of your destination guest?
  • How many transient units & pillows are available in your destination?
  • What is your destination's mix of property types?
  • Are your tax collections increasing or decreasing due to rate or occupancy?
DestiMetrics can help you find the answers to these questions and help you apply the data to your destination planning, forecasting, marketing, operations and more.   

Presentations and Appearances

May 18 - 20
St. Pete Beach, FL

May 18-  19
Denver, CO

June 14
Avon, CO

June 14 - 16
Travel and Tourism Research Association 2016 International Conference

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 77

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