Mountain resort bookings in Colorado, Utah, California and Oregon up slightly

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— Fall and winter bookings are up slightly in mountain resorts, but vacation travelers are showing some reluctance to book early, according to a new report from Ski Area Management Magazine.

The magazine cites a report by Denver-based Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) stating bookings through March 2013 are up 0.5 percent from the same time a year ago, but the pace of people locking in reservations in September was slower than in 2011.

MTRiP Director Ralf Garrison attributed travelers’ reticence to last year’s disappointing snowfall across most of North America and theorized that skiers and snowboarders are waiting until weather patterns going into the new season are established. He estimated that to date, about 40 percent of ski season bookings are in place.

Garrison added that the disappointing September booking numbers are complex. Bookings taken in September for arrival in October, November and February were up; however, those gains were offset by declines for December, January and March.

MTRip projections are based on contacts with 260 property management companies in 16 mountain destinations in Colorado, Utah, California and Oregon.

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