Steamboat is in full swing for summertime! Tubers are floating the Yampa, hay is being cut in the fields, and the blue sky days just keep coming. We have been fishing and rafting mostly, plus having fun with family and friends who are visiting. Most of my readers have been here in the Summer. Winter is excellent, and Summer just makes being here all the more fantastic.
Last week, the Steamboat Pilot released an article discussing that visitor numbers are down this Summer. This is a surprise to me. Period. This is the biggest quote:
“We have seen lower occupancy over the past 60 days than in the past two years,” said Laura Soard, marketing director for the Steamboat Chamber. “For example, occupancy over Father’s Day was about 13% down over last year (and) Memorial Day was down about 40%. But we are seeing occupancy closer to pre-pandemic numbers in 2019 if you consider both paid and unpaid stays.”
Persons who were asked about why this would happen had two versions. One is that families are vacationing in Europe now that the Pandemic restrictions are gone. The other is that there is much more inventory for people to rent.
I don’t believe the opening of Europe would cause such a decrease. Perhaps more lodging inventory is possible, yet there is a trade-off between the lodging that has been consumed by the Resort for workers (2 hotels), and those that are now available.
Overall, it could be a normalization of the market. I know many people who are still traveling yet are choosing to do more near their homes or second homes rather than make big budget expenditures.
In any case, there isn’t enough data to pinpoint the cause of the change. Really the point I want to make is that there has been a change. If you see similar things happening elsewhere, it’s a trend and should be noted.
The real estate market hasn’t changed at all. It’s still strong and out of reach for working-class families, and it has spread to Hayden, where a small home starts above $400,000.
Those who are not working class are seeing more inventory coming on the market. Sellers are giving some discounts, and these are small. Commonly properties are closing at the list price.
Inventory is still narrow. Some of my buyers have adjusted their sights to include a broader range of values and types of properties to find something that works for them. These buyers are both those who want to move to Steamboat (usually for retirement) or are looking for a place so they can enjoy Steamboat without the limitations that come from renting.