Breckenridge: Early January looking up for lodging companies |

Breckenridge: Early January looking up for lodging companies

The new year is likely to get off to an excellent start for the Breckenridge lodging community, with reservations for the first week of 2011 trending significantly higher than the same time last year.

As of mid-December, occupancy rates for the first week of January were pacing

10 to 15 percent higher than the same time last year, according to data released by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber. Room occupancy is expected to break 80 percent in the first few days of 2011.

The BRC is chalking the trend up to a recovering economy, lodging deals offered on bookings and an early season snowfall at Breckenridge Ski Resort that has blown away recent averages.

“I think people have to take the snow into consideration,” BRC spokeswoman Rachel Zerowin said of the spiking early January numbers. “It’s just amazing conditions, and it’s made the news all over the country. Between the snow and the apparent uptick in the economy and these early season deals, we are seeing a lot more people that are willing to travel.”

The ski resort had seen 85 inches of snow in December alone as of Tuesday and a season total of nearly 200 inches. With three days left in the month, December was already the best month on record with the resort in 10 years and was 73 percent above the 10-year average for December.

The slowly reviving economy may also be playing its part in the upswing in early January lodging numbers as skiers and snowboarders return to the slopes to enjoy the powder.

“Skiers and snowboarders are a really dedicated bunch of people,” Zerowin said. “They love their sport. So those people who maybe skipped a year or skipped two years, they’re coming.”

More of those expected arrivals appear to be Colorado-based guests at some resorts.

Keeping with the trend, The Lodge and Spa in Breckenridge is expecting a bigger and better January than last year’s, and many of those bookings are in-state visitors, general manager Rhonda Profaizer said.

As of Dec. 15, January lodging was pacing to fall off some after the first week of the month, dropping a few percentage points below last year, according to the BRC.

The BRC lodging survey includes 17 Breckenridge resorts, hotels and property managers making up 75 percent of the town’s total number of lodging units.

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