Steamboat Springs Promotions offered by United Airlines and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. are contributing to Steamboat's early February tourism.
The resort's lodging properties will stay on par with last year early in the month as skier traffic builds toward the reliably busy Presidents Day weekend. The lodging barometer released by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association this week projects the number of guests here over the weekend could be down from last year, but some of that ground will be made up during the middle of the week.
United, which is releasing its plan to get out of bankruptcy this week, sent e-mails to repeat customers during the last week in January promoting discount packages to Steamboat.
Today is the last day of the promotion. It offered roundtrip airfare, four nights lodging and a three-day lift ticket for less than $700.
The promotion focused on potential vacationers departing from San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
It also gave travelers the option of skiing in Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Whistler, British Columbia.
The package prices for Steamboat began at $614 from San Francisco, $634 from Chicago and $704 from Washington.
Some of the Keystone and Winter Park packages were less than $600. Breckenridge, Copper and Whistler were all a little more expensive than Steamboat.
The Ski Corp.'s package, also promoted through an e-mail campaign, offers a "free" night's lodging and a "free" day of skiing for travelers who booked a vacation for travel between Jan. 6 and Feb. 13.
It requires travelers to purchase three or more nights of lodging to get an additional night, and three or more days of skiing to get an additional day on the mountain. The prices, which do not include airfare, begin at $285 per adult.
The lodging barometer, which is not a scientific poll, projects 10,299 people will spend the night in local lodges Saturday, compared to 12,410 on the corresponding Saturday last winter. The discrepancy can be attributed to mountain hotels, which typically depend on group bookings. Mountain hotels will be 71 percent full this weekend compared to 98 percent occupancy on Feb. 2, 2002.
The number will dip to 9,662 on Wednesday, but that's a little more than 1,000 visitors higher than last year.
Preliminary projections for Saturday, Feb. 9, anticipate 12,275 visitors will be in town. That's fewer than last year's 13,318.