Thursday, February 23, 2012
Steamboat Springs The year-over-year lodging occupancy forecast for this weekend is down despite the incredible snowfall during the past week.
According to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s weekly lodging barometer, 10,400 overnight guests will stay in Steamboat lodging properties Saturday night. That’s down from the forecast of 11,300 overnight guests on the corresponding Saturday in 2011. Including last-minute bookings and walk-in customers, occupancy on Feb. 26, 2011, ended up at 12,200 guests.
Numbers are down for mid-week, too, as compared with 2011. The lodging barometer forecasts 6,800 overnight guests Wednesday, down from 9,600 guests on the corresponding Wednesday last year.
Occupancy appears to improve for next weekend, with an early forecast of 10,400 overnight visitors March 3. That’s up from the forecast of 10,000 visitors on the same Saturday in 2011.
Good snow can be the strongest driver of last-minute vacations, meaning time will tell the impact on the local economy of this week’s abundance of snow. The ski area has reported 50 inches of snow in the past four days, including 27 inches in the 24-hour period from 5 a.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday.
The Chamber publishes its weekly lodging barometer — an informal polling of various local lodging properties — in an effort to help Steamboat businesses set appropriate staffing levels during the busy tourist season.