Chamber: 2010 Steamboat summer lodging numbers similar to 2009 levels |

Chamber: 2010 Steamboat summer lodging numbers similar to 2009 levels

Mike Lawrence

— City officials' recent review of summer marketing efforts noted that there could be increased competition next year for visitors.

Aspen voters approved by a wide margin this month a 1 percent lodging tax that will give a nearly $1 million boost to the city's marketing efforts. The Aspen Times reported that residents approved the referendum Nov. 2 with a vote of 1,734 to 1,034 — a margin of 63 to 37 percent.

The new tax is expected to increase marketing funds used by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association from $450,000 to $1.4 million in 2011, the Aspen newspaper reported.

Steamboat Springs attorney Tony Lettunich told the Steam­boat Springs City Council about the Aspen vote Nov. 16 after a review of summer marketing efforts by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

City Finance Director Deb Hins­­vark said Steamboat spent $600,000 on summer marketing in 2010, including $75,000 in a supplemental request that is not planned for 2011. The city has budgeted $525,000 for summer marketing next year.

"I certainly recognize the importance of the city continuing funding at current levels," Councilman Jon Quinn said.

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July was Steamboat's strongest month for tourism in summer 2010.

Lynna Broyles, director of marketing for the Steamboat Cham­ber, released figures this month that show July accounted for four of the top six tourism weekends during summer, judging by lodging capacity. Topping the list, though, was an August weekend, which included The Wine Festival at Steamboat, the Ride 4 Yellow bicycling event featuring Lance Armstrong and Triple Crown sporting events. According to Chamber figures, that weekend filled 89 percent of the city's lodging capacity and brought 12,200 visitors to Steamboat Springs.

"Again, Wine Festival weekend fell No. 1. It has for several years running," Broyles said to City Council.

Coming in at No. 2 during summer was the weekend of July 17, which brought about 12,000 people to Steamboat and included the Tour de Steamboat cycling race and the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament.

Fourth of July weekend was the third-most popular for visitors. The following weekend of July 10, featuring the annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park, was the fourth-most popular.

"Overall, July and September were up as far as lodging occupancy was concerned. And August was relatively flat, and June was a little bit down," Broyles said Tuesday. "Overall, if you look at June 1 to September, everything seems to balance out and was either flat or a little bit up" compared with 2009.

"The glimmer of hope is that July is kind of the heart of Steamboat in the Summertime, and if you look at July being up, that's fantastic," Broyles continued. "That's a strong glimmer of hope on the horizon."

Top summer weekends

1: The Wine Festival at Steamboat, Ride4Yellow, Triple Crown (Aug. 7) 89 percent lodging capacity

2: Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament, Tour de Steamboat (July 17) 87 percent lodging capacity

3: Fourth of July, Triple Crown (July 3) 75 percent lodging capacity

4: Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, Art in the Park (July 10) 73 percent lodging capacity

5: Labor Day, Wild West Air Fest (Sept. 4) 70 percent lodging capacity (tie)

5: Triple Crown (July 31) 70 percent lodging capacity (tie)

6: Triple Crown, Steamboat Springs Running Series’ Spring Creek Memorial (July 24) 68 percent lodging capacity

7: Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup (June 19) 62 percent lodging capacity

8: Triple Crown, Free Summer Concert Series (June 26) 61 percent lodging capacity

9: Steamboat Lacrosse Camp, Free Summer Concert Series (Aug. 14) 57 percent lodging capacity (tie)

9. All Arts Festival, Steamboat Springs Running Series’ Continental Divide Trail Run (Aug. 21) 57 percent lodging capacity (tie)

10. Memorial Day (May 29) 51 percent lodging capacity

Source: Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association

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