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Breckenridge’s Economic Forecast Optimistic Heading Into Winter

Posted by Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on Sunday, November 21st, 2010 at 8:24pm.

If you had the chance to stroll through Breckenridge this summer you surely would have experienced the hustle, bustle and energy of town. A very lively Main Street, crowded restaurants and music wafting from the Riverwalk Center were just a few indicators that Breckenridge was a popular summer tourism destination this year. Likewise, evidence showed signs of an improved Breckenridge economy noting a 3 percent increase in tax revenue for July over the previous summer, and year-to-date numbers through August were up more than 1.5 percent over 2009. 

Beyond Breckenridge, Silverthorne’s numbers were reportedly up by 1 percent though Frisco was down less than 1 percent through August when compared to 2009. Summit County’s sales tax for the unincorporated areas of Summit County (i.e. Keystone and Copper Mountain) also showed a decline. However, resort town reservations indicated positive trends with August and September occupancy on the rise by more than 10 percent in mountain destinations over the previous year. 

Coming off of one of the most beautiful falls we can remember with warm temperatures and sunny skies well into October, the winds have since shifted and the tone has been set for winter as Mother Nature officially kicked off ski season with one whopper of a three day snowstorm in late October. Temperatures have dropped, snowmaking is going strong and it appears winter is well on the way. With snow as a key driver in destination visitation and bookings, we’re off to a strong start and hopefully able to continue to gain momentum early in the season. 

Though vacation plans tend to happen in a shorter booking window than they used to, predictions can be made into the winter months by evaluating reservations “on the books”. According the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP), which specializes in industry-wide research in the lodging and reservations world, mountain tourism is showing slightly positive trends for the winter ahead. Reservations are pacing ahead of 2009-2010 for almost every month of the 2010-2011 ski season. MTRiP works with lodging clients in mountain destinations such as Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Park City and Tahoe. 

Vail Resorts’ bookings are also up in revenue and room nights over last season. Recent news from Vail Resorts, as reported in their fiscal year 2010 earnings release, indicated that the mountain segment grew last season in both skier visitation and resort revenue. In fact, growth was seen among the resort operator’s mountain division despite a historically low snow year and challenging economy. 

Further drivers of an optimistic winter include several resort improvements and amenities for guests. In Breckenridge, One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort™ will not only offer an upscale slopeside lodging option, but also adds a 20,000 square foot skier restaurant “The Ski Hill Grill” and an après ski venue “The TBar”. “Gold Runner Coaster”, Breckenridge’s on-mountain roller coaster is set to open early in the ski season, as construction is near completion. The Village at Breckenridge has undergone an exterior renovation, featuring a new clock tower, visible throughout town. The Peak 6 Expansion Plan is still on the table as the U.S. Forest Service has been working over the last two years to address social and natural resource issues. The proposed plan includes developing ski terrain, a chairlift, a food and beverage facility and a ski patrol/warming hut within the Peak 6 area of Breckenridge Ski Resort. Additionally, Arapahoe Basin is opening its new high-speed, detachable quad, the Black Mountain Express Lift. Copper Mountain plans to unveil a new mountain master plan, and Keystone has made upgrades to Kids’ Adventure Zones and added a new Kids’ Terrain Park. 

Moving into the next five months, we are hopeful the perfect storm is brewing to make it a successful season ahead. Steady business and bookings, early snowfall, continued investment and development in the area are all encouraging signs that Breckenridge and the surrounding communities are headed down the path to a great winter season. 

Breckenridge and the communities of Summit and Park County are the perfect places to call home in every season. Contact us today to learn more about real estate opportunities in the area. Let us help you find your mountain dream home in time to enjoy winter ski season in the high country.

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Source: Summit Daily News-September 17 &19, 2010, October 22, 25 & 28, 2010, mtrip.org, vailresorts.com & fs.usda.gov

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