Visitor numbers up this weekend in Steamboat

Future weekends are less certain

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— Occupancy at Steamboat Springs lodging properties continues to pace ahead of last season’s numbers in terms of total visitors, according to the latest lodging barometer released by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. But that trend could be short-lived.

The lodging barometer, an informal polling of lodging properties to gauge visitor numbers for upcoming weeks, predicts 9,700 guests will spend the night in Steamboat on Saturday. That’s up from a forecast of 7,600 overnight guests on the corresponding Saturday in 2011. When walk-up visitors were accounted for, Jan. 22, 2011, actually saw about 8,100 overnight visitors.

The midweek visitor forecast also paces ahead of last year. As of early this week, 7,500 guests are expected to spend the night in Steamboat hotels and condominiums Wednesday. That’s up from the forecast of 7,200 guest Jan. 26, 2011.

The lodging numbers are a bit softer for next weekend, when 7,900 overnight guests are expected in Steamboat. That’s down from the forecast of 8,700 guests on the corresponding Saturday night in 2011.

Whether that is an emerging trend remains to be seen. Some resort officials are expressing concern that a lack of snow has led to fewer reservations for the remainder of the ski season. For a detailed look at the economic forecast for the rest of the winter and how the “snow message” affects bookings, pick up a copy of Sunday’s Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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