Steamboat Springs Lodging industry leader Larry Mashaw told a gathering of business people Wednesday that large ski groups already are signaling a strong January and February for the resort community, but like so many ski seasons, it will be March that matters.
“The whole winter will boil down to March,” Mashaw said. “Last winter, based partly on our snow message, we had a very strong March. Our challenge is to reach the level of March 2011 in 2012.”
Mashaw is vice president of sales and marketing for the Resort Group, which includes Mountain Resorts and Pioneer Ridge among its divisions, making it the largest locally owned vacation property management company.
“Mountain Resorts is doing very well with some big groups coming in January and February for six- to seven-night stays,” Mashaw said. “And Pioneer Ridge is doing well with premium properties in the downtown. Howelsen Place, Alpen Glow, The Victoria and The Olympian are all booking well. Guest are really liking that downtown experience with access to dining and shopping.”
Jim Schneider, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.’s vice president of skier services, told the gathering of 25 people at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Business Outlook Breakfast that it’s early in the reservation season to draw many conclusions.
“It’s too early to tell from our booking pacing how we’re doing, but we’re seeing good rental and ski school bookings on those low numbers,” he said.
Schneider added that the Florida Ski Council is among the large ski clubs Mashaw referenced.
Mashaw said that Resort Group’s bookings are up slightly year-over-year, but the pace has slowed a little in the past two months.
Bookings are strongest in the economy and luxury price ranges, he said. Vacationers who have been customers for lodging in the middle of Steamboat’s price range are less active.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in the middle,” Mashaw said. “We’re seeing the same thing with (Steamboat) Central Reservations and our wholesalers.”
He predicted that the people who visit Steamboat this winter would have a better experience based on the extensive renovations undertaken by several condominium associations.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com