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Glenwood advance bookings for holidays slow

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Advance bookings with local lodges for the upcoming holiday stretch are down some, according to local tourism and lodging officials.

But that’s not surprising, since the trend of late has been for would-be visitors to wait until the last minute to book their Glenwood getaways.

Of course, some decent snow over the next couple of weeks would also work to set the mood and lure holiday travelers.



“We’d really like it to just snow like crazy between now and Dec. 25, and then clear up and have blue skies for the holiday week,” ordered up Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Pool General Manager Kjell Mitchell.

“The week right after Christmas is a fairly brisk week for us, and New Year’s Eve is always close to full,” Mitchell said, referring to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration at the Hot Springs Pool.



As far as pre-bookings go, however, the Hot Springs Lodge is not pacing as well as it was for the Christmas holiday last year, he said.

“The dynamic has changed, where people are waiting until the last minute to make their plans,” Mitchell said. “People used to plan two, three months out, but now they tend to wait and see how much snow there is and consider other factors.”

Bookings through the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Central Reservations have also seen a slight decline in advance bookings for the holiday season, according to Chamber Vice President of Tourism and Marketing Lindsey Lewis.

“We have seen a steady trend over the past few months that illustrates an increase in last-minute bookings,” she said. “I am optimistic that we’ll see more reservations in the next couple of weeks, which will help boost accommodations tax revenues for December.”

Year to date, revenues from hotel and motel bookings through Central Reservations are up about 30 percent compared to last year, she said. But only about 5 to 10 percent of reservations are done through Central Reservations, while the rest are done directly with the property, either by phone or online.

A better gauge is the city’s accommodations tax, which has seen monthly increases for the past four months through October. While accommodation taxes were down for the first six months of the year, revenues were up almost 8 percent in October, compared to October of 2009. Year to date, accommodations taxes are only slightly behind last year.

“Since June we’ve definitely seen an upward trend, which is encouraging as we go into the holiday season and into next year,” Lewis said.

According to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report for Glenwood Springs properties, occupancy and average daily rates are down a little more than 6 percent for the year. But that number also has stabilized in recent months, Lewis said.

And, it stands to reason that the occupancy numbers will be down for a period of time due an additional 225 available rooms in Glenwood Springs with the opening of the two Marriott properties, the Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, earlier this year.

Hotel occupancy peaked at 72 percent in July this year, which was down about 8.5 percent compared to the usual mid-summer occupancy rate of more than 80 percent.

The average daily room rate in Glenwood Springs this year has ranged from a low of $93.34 in April to $113.78 during the summer high season in July. The average daily rate for October was $94.64. For the year, Glenwood’s average room rate is down by $3.89 compared to 2009.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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