Steamboat’s weather is changing to Spring faster than I realized. One day recently, I was looking up at the resort and saw a large patch of dirt amongst the snowy runs. This was a surprise to me because I had been in full ski season mode, even though temperatures were rising.
With Spring, comes the closing of the resort on April 11th. This is very evident in the occupancy report.
This report I find very interesting. Looking at the red line, last year’s occupancy, and the blue line, this year’s occupancy, there isn’t too much difference. When the grey line, the historic actual line, one can see the effect the pandemic has taken on occupancy.
The historic actual shows how hard hit rentals got when the initial stay at home order was put in place and resorts shut down. So, a month and a half of income was lost, as well as a month and a half of good times not had by many. In the end, the red lines meant nothing for 2019/2020 season and may not reflect the actual volume of rentals that may have been made at the last minute. The blue lines may represent an average more so.
And looking at the blue lines through early March, the impact that the pandemic is having on skier stays. Business is down, though by the number of folks on the ski hill would make a person think differently. Up until last weekend, lines were longer than expected and traffic on the runs appeared average. Perhaps more owners are staying in their units – I don’t have this information.
Equally interesting to me is the trend through the beginning of shoulder season (mud season). The amount of persons coming to Steamboat Springs is equivalent year over year. During shoulder season, as residents, we welcome the break to the hubbub of Winter and Summer (and equally enjoy the return to activity). When we run into visitors in this time, it is interesting because they are almost an anomaly. Why would anyone want to be here when mud is everywhere and clean up crews are as well?
Looking forward, there does not appear to be anything changing these trends. Well, for the short term. Once we all have moved on from pandemic restrictions, it seems reasonable to expect occupancy numbers to go up. That being said, professionals in the short term lodging management industry have said that Steamboat rarely goes above 80% occupancy.