Park City lodging projections point to continued summertime crowds |

Park City lodging projections point to continued summertime crowds

Bookings through the middle of August are well ahead of the pace of 2020

The Park Silly Sunday Market on Main Street, shown in June, is one of Park City’s tourism draws in the summer. Park City-area summertime lodging projections are well ahead of the pace of 2020, when concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus impacted tourism numbers. The coming week could be especially strong in Park City, the projections show.
Park Record file photo

Summer lodging projections in Park City are about as hot as the temperatures have been.

Bookings are well ahead of the pace in 2020, when the spread of the novel coronavirus was in its early months and there was broad concern about travel. The numbers, released by the Park City Chamber/Bureau, show the 2021 bookings ahead of those of 2020 each day through Aug. 15.

The period between the middle of July and the middle of August is usually an important stretch of the summer-tourism season, with a series of concerts, sporting events and festivals scheduled in Park City. Many are returning in 2021 after a slew of cancellations in 2020 out of concern for the sickness.

The projections are based on a survey of 18 properties representing a range of lodging options in the Park City area like economy hotels, luxury hotels and short-term vacation rentals. They are compiled on behalf of the Chamber/Bureau by a firm called DestiMetrics.

The report was dated June 15 and it does not capture bookings made since then. Another report is expected shortly.

In a prepared statement provided at the request of The Park Record, Jennifer Wesselhoff, the president and CEO of the Chamber/Bureau, said the lodging industry “saw very healthy advance-booking numbers for summer on the leisure side, and our group sales lead numbers broke all records for June.”

“We are grateful that Park City provides the sense of security, open space, and recreational offerings that visitors and companies seek, as they consider a return to in person travel. This is very good news for our hotels, restaurants, small businesses, and local tour operators, as they eye a post-pandemic recovery,” she said.

The projections through June 15 show the coming week is expected to be especially strong. At the time of the report, the highest occupancy percentage of any single night between June 16 and Aug. 15 was forecast to be on Friday. The projection was pegged at 72%. The figure on Thursday was projected at 66%. The figures were in the 60% or 70% range from July 12 until July 17, the longest such stretch shown on the report.

The projections generally drop into the 40% and 50% range starting in the last days of July and continuing through the middle of August. Several days in the 30% range were also forecast, with a low of 31% predicted Aug. 1.

“It’s important that we not take this news for granted, as many destinations around the country and the world are struggling to return to the healthy levels of commerce they experienced prior to the onslaught of Covid-19,” Wesselhoff said about the projections.

The projections beat the actual numbers from 2020 on most days through the first week of August.

Lodging numbers are an important data point in Park City’s tourism-driven economy. People staying overnight generally also spend money on food and entertainment while some also require transportation services, providing a lift to those industries.

The Park City tourism industry has beaten expectations since the beginning days of the pandemic, which forced an early end to the 2019-2020 ski season and shuttered a wide swath of the economy. By the middle of the summer of 2020, visitors began to return, drawn by the outdoor recreation offerings. The fall of 2020 was especially strong for business, previewing a solid winter even amid surging coronavirus cases. This summer has appeared to be extremely busy as well.

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