Yes, by most leading indicators, the U.S. economy–what's the technical word for it again? Oh yes–BLOWS! However, an, erm, un-leading indicator shows one economic sector bouncing back.
Mountain destinations across the western U.S. reportedly experienced sharp increases in July occupancy and steep hikes in advance reservations for the winter ski and snowboard months.
This comes hot on the boot heels of one local resort announcing a screaming deal for 2010-11.
More on that in a bit. First, the rose-colored goggles report was derived from the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) sampling 265 property management companies in 15 mountain destination communities, representing 24,000 rooms across California, Colorado,
Utah and Oregon.
Supported primarily by the Fourth of July weekend, that month “defied overall economic anxiety and recorded the best monthly performance in two years with occupancy up 10.6 percent and the average daily rate (ADR) up 4.3 percent compared to July 2009,” reports First Tracks Online.
August bookings also looked solid, and through December reservations were up 8.3 percent, according to the report.
Keep in mind this was after a May and June that–what's the technical word for it again? Oh yes–BLEW!
“These reports coupled with higher national occupancy, stronger rates and increased enplanements (airline traffic) is becoming a good news story during a predominantly bad news time,” Tom Foley, MTRiP research analyst, reportedly said.
Of course, as we continue to stare into ever-smaller paychecks, many of us will confine our mountain time to day trips. That's where the deal from Southern California's most easily accessible ski resort comes in.
Through Oct. 31, you can pick up a season pass to Mountain High near Wrightwood–with no blackout dates at all–for only $300.
After Halloween, that rate rises to $599.
Besides unlimited single-day lift tickets, the passes get you 10 percent off non-sale retail items from the Mtn. High pro shop, 10 percent off adult ski or snowboard lessons, free admission to the new North Pole Tubing Park at North Resort and guaranteed admittance when the resort sells out.
Passes for children 7-12 are only $129 (with the purchase of an adult pass), and kids under 7 ski for free.
More info: www.mthigh.com.