With the holidays over, the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau reports increased occupancy for the first months of the ski season.
Although lodging was down for the month of November compared to 2018, both December and January surpassed the previous year’s occupancy numbers, with 46% occupancy in December and 66% in January, compared to 44% and 63% last season, respectively. Considering this season’s occupancy levels and last year’s record number of skier days, Park City Chamber/Bureau CEO Bill Malone says the increase in lodging points to more visitors from out of town.
“Last year, we experienced real big growth in the skier-day numbers, and yet the lodging numbers were growing but not nearly at the pace the skier-day numbers were," Malone said. "This year, it seems like we're capturing just a little bit more out of that, that we're getting that destination skier again.”
Malone says the rest of the ski season, February, March and April, are also projected to be strong for occupancy. Part of that is due to international travelers visiting Park City during Easter and the week leading up to it.
“Especially with being open for Easter helps us a lot on the ends of guests from the southern hemisphere, who come with Semana Santa [Holy Week] from Mexico," Malone said. "A lot of our international visitation likes to travel around that Easter holiday.”
Not only is occupancy up but also daily rates. In November, December and January, the average daily rate topped last season, maxing out in January at $613 per night. That calculation includes a range of accommodations, from lower-end properties to luxury stays. Malone says the rate reflects the local tax revenue generated by overnight stays.
“We've always known, and our surveys show, that our guests spend in excess of $400 per person per day on a ski vacation in the winter," Malone said. "It's continuing—we're not facing those problems of trying to find a guest that can't spend the money.”
The Chamber/Bureau’s occupancy data measures traditional lodging options, like hotels. It does not measure occupancy of nightly rentals, such as AirBnB.