Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Steamboat Springs saw more tourists last weekend than the weekend before, but the number will drop again this weekend.
An estimated 9,000 tourists stayed in Steamboat on Jan. 10, compared with about 11,500 last weekend. This Saturday, the number will fall back to about 9,400, according to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's Lodging Barometer, an informal survey of lodging properties.
According to the barometer, tourist numbers consistently drop after the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend.
"Definitely, the holiday brings in a crowd," said Steamboat Chamber Public Relations Director Riley Polumbus. "A three-day weekend is easier to make a ski trip out of, and most ski resorts probably benefit from that. The numbers will go back up Presidents Day weekend, and of course, Winter Carnival weekend -- also a popular weekend."
The 9,400 projected tourists in Steamboat will bring lodging occupancy levels to about 62 percent, down from 76 percent last weekend. The majority of this weekend's visitors made reservations at mountain hotels and condominiums, bringing occupancy levels there to 67 percent and 64 percent, respectively.
The Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel is holding true to overall estimates, as it will be 70 percent occupied Friday and Saturday, said Rachel Ferrick, sales administrative assistant at the Steamboat Grand. Most of those visitors are either already here or arriving today, Ferrick said.
Lodging numbers for the corresponding weekend last year were slightly higher, with occupancy levels closer to 70 percent with 10,300 tourists in town.
"(Lack of) snowfall could be a factor, but recent trends show that there are a lot of last-minute bookings," Polumbus said. "It's consistent to see the actual numbers come in higher than the forecast."
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