Mountain resort lodging was up for the fifth consecutive month, according to the most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP).
“The strong results experienced at mountain destinations during the past six months combined with continued signs of economic recovery and plentiful snow in most parts of the country have provided a solid foundation for a respectable, although not spectacular, winter season,” said Ralf Garrison, director of MTRiP. “The steady increases in occupancy at most destinations is good news for lodging properties, but the flat rates show that guests are still insisting on deals, so overall lodging revenues aren't likely to be as strong as hoped.”
The average actual occupancy at more than a dozen major western mountain destinations was up 5.8 percent in January 2011 compared to the previous January. A retrospective of the past six months (August to January) showed average occupancy up 9.4 percent and nightly rates essentially flat -- up 0.4 percent. February projections are modest with on-the-books occupancy as of Jan. 31 up 1.4 percent compared to the same time period as last year, while the preliminary forecast for reservations for arrivals from February through July 2011 at participating mountain destinations are currently up 6.5 percent compared to last year. The average daily rate edges up slightly -- less than 1 percent.
Burton cuts ties with ‘gray market’ snowboard shops
Burton Snowboards announced that it recently terminated dealer agreements with several U.S. shops suspected of re-selling products through unauthorized channels.
“I've said it many times, and I'll say it again -- I have absolutely no tolerance for gray marketing,” said Jake Burton, founder and CEO of Burton Snowboards. “I don't get why a snowboard shop in one part of the world has a right to shit on a local shop in another part of the world for short-term gains. I often think of it in the context of a Japanese dealer shipping product back to Wal-Mart in the U.S. We want to build a global network of specialty retailers that cares about the sport, the brand, the product and each other. So we're not afraid to end relationships with dealers that gray market anywhere in the world.”
The brand is hammering the anti-gray market message of late, with ads in Snow Show Daily at the SIA Snow Show in January, the cancellation of orders it suspected of being bound for the gray market last fall, and a process where it is presently tracking product that ends up in the gray market and tracing it back to the source.
In a release, Burton announced, “For the sake of all its retail partners around the world, Burton's goal is to ultimately eliminate gray market activity. The company will continue to do whatever it takes to protect the long-term health of its global specialty dealer network.”
SI swimsuit models stay hot in Alberta
A few of Sports Illustrated’s hottest swimsuit models hit the cold mountains of Alberta for the annual issue’s latest mix of nature’s most beautiful bodies. Brazilian surfer Bruna Schmitz, American volleyball player Kim Glass and Paraguayan javelin thrower Leryn Franco are featured among the spectacular backdrop of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
“Alberta’s Canadian Rocky Mountains are world renowned for breathtaking landscapes,” said Bruce Okabe, CEO of Travel Alberta. “This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue makes our vistas even more beautiful and alluring to visitors.” Get your preview right here.
In Day 3 of Snow Show Daily at the SIA Snow Show, which is published by SNEWS, the Electric Visual brand name and website was incorrectly identified on the Top Trends/Goggles roundup (page 20). The correct website is www.electricvisual.com.
Land Rovers, Sunshine, new enviro area proposal & more
Telluride Ski & Golf Resort and Land Rover North America announced a new strategic partnership that brings together the premier international brands. “Land Rover vehicles are the perfect fit for our core demographic, and the mutual benefit for both companies will be instantly recognizable,” said Matt Skinner, Telluride's executive director of marketing.…Just a few weeks after several Sunshine Village ski patrollers were allegedly fired for confronting the area’s son while he skied an out-of-bounds enclosure, two snowboarders have been fined for triggering an on OB slide in the Wild West area. “In a case like this where they’re going into an area that is extremely dangerous and it’s marked very clearly, I think we need to take a pretty firm hand on this one,” resort spokesman Doug Firby told Canadian news.…The Mountain Rider’s Alliance is proposing a Silverton Mountain-like experience at Alaska’s Manitoba Mountain. According to a release, “The proposed lifts are surface tows designed to give riders supreme access to and from world-class, high-angle backcountry terrain.” Project Manager Dave Scanlan will outline a proposal for the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project at the Girdwood Library on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.…And the Tahoe region is getting absolutely pounded right now. Skiers and snowboarders welcomed more than four feet of fresh snow to the slopes of Lake Tahoe in a little less than a 48-hour period, and more is forecast throughout the weekend. Happy President’s weekend, everybody.
On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived -- just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at email@example.com to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!