Spending habits key to tourism tale

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— Summer tourism is up by about 200 visitors this weekend and next, but youth sports tournaments later this summer could be about 5 percent smaller than they were in 2007.

Triple Crown Sports' Sean Hardy told the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Marketing Committee this week that he expects World Series youth baseball tournaments here from July 25 to 27 and the first two weeks in August to be off in terms of participation by about 5 percent.

Sandy Evans Hall, the Chamber's executive vice president, said Hardy explained that in some cases, entire teams will withdraw from tournaments if the families of several key players are unable to afford the trip to Steamboat.

"That's an economic-driven decrease," she said.

Similarly, she expects the Mountain Youth Soccer Tournament July 19 to 20 to be down from 120 to 100 teams.

However, Evans Hall said she feels fortunate that Steamboat's early summer has been healthy.

"Some areas of the state are really down," she said, "so I feel pretty good that we're holding our own."

The marketing committee has run a promotion on Colorado's Front Range offering a $50 gift certificate that visitors can use for gasoline. That promotion has driven some phone traffic, Evans Hall said.

This weekend's final July 4 adult Triple Crown softball tournament in Steamboat is down from 100 to 60 teams year over year, but that trend has been ongoing and is no surprise, Evans Hall said.

Comparing this summer's tourism to corresponding weekends on the calendar in 2007 will be difficult all summer, Evans Hall predicted. Blame it on the Leap Year.

The Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday last year and jumped ahead two days this summer.

Evans Hall said most mountain resorts, Steamboat among them, experienced their Independence Day tourism on the final week in June in 2007. For example, the downtown cattle drive here was held Sunday, July 1, 2007.

So, comparing this Saturday's tourism to Saturday July 7, 2007, is misleading. Similarly, Evans Hall said, Steamboat's Rainbow Weekend was held on July 7, 2007, but won't happen until July 12 this summer. The 10-day look ahead on Rainbow Weekend anticipates 9,700 visitors, about 200 more than the same forecast anticipated for July 7 last summer.

In the end, Evans Hall said, vacationers' spending habits once they get here may tell the true economic tale of the summer of 2008.

Comments

steamboatsprings 5 years, 9 months ago

I am glad that we have such a great lady working to attract the tourism that is so vital to our community. Thank you Sandy!

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