Lodging occupancy remains ahead of 2011

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— Even with the passage of the peak holiday season, the number of guests staying in Steamboat Springs will remain above 2011 totals through mid-January.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s lodging barometer forecasts 13,600 guests spending the night in local lodging properties Saturday, up from the 12,600 who stayed here during the corresponding weekend in January 2011. That trend remains true into the weekend of Jan. 14.

Steamboat is expected to play host to 7,000 overnight guests Wednesday evening, up from the forecast of 5,700 who stayed here on that day in 2011. The evening of Jan. 14 could see at least 11,400 overnight guests, up significantly from the 8,800 who were forecast to spend the corresponding Saturday night in 2011 here.

This week’s numbers are aided significantly by the annual MusicFest, which brings thousands of Texans to town for five days and nights of live music, skiing and partying.

It remains to be seen how the lack of snow here — and at most other ski resorts across the nation — impacts vacationers’ decisions to book trips to the mountains for the remainder of the winter. The five-day forecast for Steamboat calls for mostly sunny skies and daytime highs in the mid-30s to low 40s. Overnight temperatures in the single digits and teens will remain ideal for snowmaking operations.

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