Lodging numbers up

Occupancy is at 88 percent

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— Spring break, late season deals and remnants of the last three week's heavy snows all helped to boost the lodging barometer this weekend.

Saturday and Wednesday lodging numbers show one of the biggest increases of the season from last year.

Overall, occupancy is at 88 percent, with the mountain hotels and mountain condos having the highest percentage of pillows filled.

For today, the number of projected pillows filled increased by 15.7 percent from the year before. Close to 13,500 people are expected to be in town today.

For next Wednesday, the occupancy rate increase is even higher, with a 33 percent overall increase from the year before. J.R. Russell at Steamboat Central Reservations said the majority of visitors booking this weekend were getting lodging and lift packages.

"They are hitting the hill," Russell said.

For mountain hotels, the lodging barometer showed a 99 percent occupancy rate for today, compared to 83 percent last year. Mountain condos showed an 85 percent occupancy rate, compared to 76 percent last year at this time.

Downtown lodging also increased. The barometer projected a 56 percent occupancy rate for the downtown area, compared to 46 percent the year before. Connie Luppes, sales director at Mountain Resorts, said this week and last week are the two biggest spring break weeks for the company's largest target market, families from Texas. She also said the more than 2 feet of snow that fell last week gave a boost to last-minute bookings. Lodging is forecasted to be strong throughout the week. On Wednesday, more than 11,500 people will be in town, which is a 34 percent increase from the year before.

Condos on the mountain are scheduled to have 83 percent occupancy rate and mountain hotels are forecasted to have 77 percent.

Wednesday's overall occupancy rate is in line with the mid-week total for this year's Christmas holiday season.

Next Saturday, the occupancy rates drop off, with 71 percent of the pillows being filled and close to 10,900 people predicted in town.

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