Holiday is lucrative for Park City
Presidents’ Day weekend is a big day for Park City.
"We anticipate a huge volume," said Jessica Rodriguez, administrative supervisor for the central reservations department at Deer Valley. "Our skier counts are up (from last year) already. We are in that 95 to 100 percent occupancy range."
Bill Malone, the Park City Chamber/Bureau executive director, said he’s noticed the lodging numbers "are up a little bit over last year."
"It looks like to me, we’ll run a good 75-80 percent occupancy for the week," Malone said. "That’s about like every year for the last two or three years."
The weekend will kick off what is anticipated to be a busy two months.
"Those are strong, strong weeks," Malone said. "Presidents’ Day always seems like the second kick-off of the season. We should be running fairly strong numbers from now until late in March."
All of Park City benefits from the weekend. The Chamber/Bureau tries to predict the lodging numbers to help local restaurants and retail stores prepare for the traffic.
"If you were to look at real peak number of weeks, you have Christmas; you have first week of Sundance, there’s a good strong second or third week of March, but Presidents’ Day is one of those key weeks in terms of a profitability standpoint. It benefits lodging, restaurants and retail."
"This is one of our peak seasons," Rodriguez said. "It’s close to what Christmas does."
That’s why a little less snow worries some.
"I think we’re going to have a good winter," Malone said. ‘We still have room and we could sell more. The prolonged period of time without snowfall has affected the phone volume. Thank goodness for those early storms."
Park City Canyons Properties, Inc. has seen a small drop in its numbers this season.
"When we don’t have as much snow, we don’t have as many bookings," said Sonja Allison, co-owner of Park City Canyons Properties. "We’re hoping for more snow."
Allison’s company however, still has its hands full.
"We only have a couple more condos available. If we had gotten more snow, we would have booked those."
Some of the snow over the weekend has prompted a few more reservations, however.
"We are excited to get the snow before the Presidents’ Day weekend came in," said Rodriguez. "We’ve had numerous calls today from people who are wanting to arrive on the 15th. We’re geared up, we’re ready. We’re bulking up our staff. We’re excited for sure."
"The snow does bring in calls," Allison said.
Malone agrees. However, he doesn’t think people out of state perceive the snow the same way as locals do.
"When we get a storm like that, it helps," Malone said. "It instills confidence in their decision making, despite the fact that skiing has been great. We certainly can be our own biggest snow snobs."
Last week, Rodriguez anticipated complaints because of the lack of snow.
"That, going into Presidents’ week, was our worry," Rodriguez said. "The storms that are supposed to come and the delaying of transportation is our other biggest concern now."
Emily Windle, the manager at Treasure Mountain Inn hasn’t seen much difference from this year to last year. In fact, she doesn’t see much difference between Presidents’ weekend and any other weekend.
"It’s not anything more or less on Presidents’ weekend," Windle said. "It’s been solidly booked. We’ve got a little bit more occupancy starting Monday than normal."
Over the last couple years, the difference between peaks lows is narrowing.
"When you look at the depth of the valleys, they seem to be lessening," Malone said. "The peaks are always the peaks and the lower numbers, they are not as bad as they used to be."
Rodriguez has witnessed the trend. Customers are calling Deer Valley and reserving spots for next year.
"This entire year has been different," Rodriguez said. "This season in general, we usually get a lull between summer and winter. That flow from Presidents’ week through February always is a peak season, but now we are seeing a flow into the next peak season. They are just running right in to each other.
"That tells you about how many people are in town," Rodriguez added. "It tells you it’s becoming one season that’s constantly full."
"Hopefully, we’ll have a very busy Presidents’ Day week and they will go back to the water cooler and tell their coworkers about the skiing in Park City," Malone said.
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Hotel occupancy in the Park City area during Sundance is projected to drop dramatically from a typical year as organizers shift the event online.