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Hot Temps Send More People To Mountain Towns

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Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Some Colorado high country destinations are seeing record numbers of tourists, and it’s not even peak season.

The weather plays a major role in the spike in tourists. On a normal day it can easily be 15 to 25 degrees cooler than the Front Range, but that’s just one of the reasons some destinations are seeing a 5 percent increase in occupancy over last year.

“Since January both weather and the broader economy have been both positive. Those are wildcards that help consumers feel good about vacation travel.” DestiMetrics Director Ralf Garrison said. “First time in several years we’ve had both of those wildcards in our advantage.”

Another boost was the Fourth of July happening close to the weekend, which drove up lodging. But the entire summer is looking positive, especially as hotels take advantage of charging more.

“We’re on the far side of a recovery now, occupancy has begun to increase, and now rate is beginning to increase. It’s supply and demand,” Garrison said.

It’s a no-brainer for some communities like Breckenridge that are built to handle massive crowds when there’s snow on the ground.

“As is true for much of our infrastructure; was built for the winter season and now it’s discretionary in the summer season. We have a lot of capacity in the summer that’s underutilized,” Garrison said.

Hotels are able to charge more, but that’s still not saying much as a summer vacation to the mountains can end up costing half of a winter visit.

The forecasted numbers for the winter look positive as well with the late spring snowfall pushing season pass sales. Occupancy numbers already on the books for the rest of the calendar year show an increase in 8 percent over last year.

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