Steamboat Springs Summer lodging numbers have stayed fairly even with last year but are expected to dip as the end of June approaches.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's Executive Vice President Sandy Evans-Hall said lodging numbers are running as expected but could drop from last year for next weekend because of a shift in the Fourth of July holiday.
At 64 percent projected occupancy for this Saturday, Steamboat sees just a five-point decrease from 2001's 69 percent occupancy. But June 29 has an occupancy forecast of 25 percent, which is much lower than the 72 percent that was projected last year for the sixth week of summer.
Evans-Hall said the difference comes from the day of the week the Fourth of July falls on. Last year, the holiday was on Wednesday, which spread visitors out in two weeks and brought them into town the last week of June. But Evans-Hall said by falling on a Thursday, those visitors will not come until the first week of July, marking a sharp decrease in last year's number.
One of the reasons for the slight decrease this week is the lack of Ride the Rockies, the mountain biking event that has brought 4,000 people into Steamboat for a day or two during the third week of June.
"We're down slightly from last year," Evans-Hall said. "But all other areas are running equally in terms of events and group visitors. Our expectations were to run fairly even or run a little bit ahead of last year."
Saturday saw a 12-point increase in last year's numbers with a 70 percent occupancy forecast and 2,000 more projected pillows.
Although this summer's Wednesday counts have been slightly lower than the past two years, Saturday's numbers have been right in line or even higher than 2001 and 2000.
But this Saturday, about 250 fewer visitors are expected to show up. By Wednesday, those projections are expected to turn around as Steamboat has a five-point increase from last year. The occupancy forecast is at 28 percent for Wednesday, which should bring in almost 1,000 more visitors.
Despite fires raging through parts of Colorado and Gov. Bill Owens' statement that all of Colorado was burning, some locals in the lodging industry said they haven't felt the effects of the wildfires.
Renea Cowman, president of Colorado Resort Services, said calls come in daily from out-of-staters asking about the fires. Cowman also said last weekend was strong and this week's business started picking up Thursday as Triple Crown arrived in town.
Beverly Bohecker at the front desk of the Rabbit Ears Motel said business has been strong as children finish school and Triple Crown starts. She to has received calls about the wildfires from concerned tourists but no cancellations.
Evans-Hall said the fires will most affect travelers who have not made reservations and that the state has been trying to promote tourism.
"The state of Colorado is doing a really good job in getting the word out," she said. "The state is having some really big fires and they're horrible, but the large part of the state is not impacted, opened for business, green and doing just fine."