The pendulum has swung, and departing airline passengers outnumbered arrivals Friday at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
However, it would be a mistake to conclude that tourism will be light in the coming week.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association anticipates 14,000 visitors will spend the night in area lodges today. That's about 400 more than the corresponding Saturday in 2005. And tourism levels will continue to pace ahead of last year through Jan. 14.
Resort officials reported 673 passengers were booked on flights arriving at the airport Friday, compared with 787 who were scheduled to depart.
At mid-morning, arriving flights from Denver, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Houston were all in flight and scheduled to arrive on time.
The number of tourists will slip substantially by Wednesday to 9,000, but that's still 400 more than last year on the corresponding Wednesday. And the numbers will rebuild to more than 11,000 on Jan. 14. That Saturday night marks the beginning of the three-day holiday observing the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr.
Downtown motels are more than 90 percent full tonight, and hotels along U.S. Highway 40 are completely full. Mountain condominiums are 91 percent full, and mountain hotels are 93 percent full.
By Wednesday, the only category of lodging expected to be more than 75 percent full will be U.S. 40 properties. Condominiums will be a little more than half full.
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