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Resort lodges finish a much better ski season

Published May 20, 2013 12:59 pm

Occupancy • More snow, improving economy combine to produce more visitation.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lodging providers in Utah resort communities finished the ski season with improved results from the poor winter a year earlier.

Occupancy through the end of April was 61.6 percent in Utah resort towns, up from 57.5 percent a year ago, according to the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. Average room rates, it added, rose $15 a night to $257.

The improved performance mirrored results across the West. The Mountain Travel Research Program, also from Denver, said occupancy climbed 5.8 percent and lodging revenues jumped 8.8 percent this year at 260 property-management companies in 17 resort communities surveyed in Utah, Colorado, California, Nevada and Oregon.

"After a shaky start to the winter season, the new year brought better weather conditions and increasingly positive economic conditions simultaneously — a combination we haven't enjoyed for several years," said Research Program Director Ralf Garrison.

The positive trend is continuing, he added, citing an 8.4 percent bump in advance reservations for the summer season (May through October) compared to 2012.

"Increases in bookings are up in all summer months," Garrison said, "including the historically slow month of May, up 9.9 percent."

Outside of the resorts, hotel occupancy levels statewide are up 1 percent through the first four months of 2013, boosted by a solid showing in April. Hotels in Salt Lake County, where more than half of the state's total rooms are located, are basically even with last year's performance.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg