Park City will attract fewer overnight guests this summer but could generate the same revenue

Summer is shaping up to be one that tourist-weary Parkites will be pleased with, as fewer overnight visitors are expected compared to last year, but inflation may mean they’ll spend the same amount, according to the Park City chamber/office.
Park Record File Photo

Summer is shaping up to be one that tourist-weary Parkites will be pleased with, as fewer overnight visitors are expected compared to last year, but inflation may mean they’ll spend the same amount.

A 60-day occupancy projection of the Park City House/Office indicates that there are fewer hotel reservations on the books this summer. With 55 days remaining in the summer, 35 days have lower projections and 20 days have higher projections than in 2021.

Dan Howard, Vice President of House/Bureau Communications, said the drop was not surprising given that more destinations, especially international destinations, are open compared to the same time last year, which creates more competition for the Park City area.

But even if there are fewer overnight guests — which Howard said has been a request from many residents — inflation and other costs associated with travel, like airfare and hotel rooms hotel, are part of a national trend that can benefit the community, he said. .

“There are several reasons why we were at a higher point last summer than we will be this summer, and we are not necessarily unhappy about it. In particular, we’re able to see that the city can basically amass the same revenue – that’s kind of a winning strategy,” Howard said.

As people pay more for goods and services, the area’s tax base increases, allowing businesses to generate more revenue over the same period with fewer visitors. This keeps stores and restaurants open while also satisfying residents who are frustrated with increased foot and car traffic, helping to even things out. Howard predicts that this summer’s tourism economy will still be comparable to last year’s based on current trends.

Although accommodation forecasts are down this summer, average daily room rates in Park City have increased significantly year over year. According to a May report from the House/Bureau, the average cost of a hotel room was $250 that month and is expected to rise to $302 in June and $330 in July. The average rate in 2019 was $177 in May, $214 in June, and $222 in July.

“We pay more for everything we do. In the case of Park City, if people pay more when they come, that’s going to generate a visitor tax base that the city and the county will be very happy to see,” he said.

Summer events, like the Park City Kimball Arts Festival and the concert series at Deer Valley Resort, draw business to the area on some weekends, but Howard said most visitors to Park City during the summer book at the last minute because there isn’t the same sense of urgency as the winter season. The Room/Office has already started to see bookings for year-end accommodation and ski lessons.

A lack of summer tourists years ago influenced many businesses that rely on visitors to temporarily close at certain times. However, the summer season is a crucial element in maintaining a certain economic level throughout the year. This helps keep businesses open and people employed as the community transitions into the fall shoulder season, Howard said.

While summer is the time for family travel, the Chamber/Office is also working to attract groups for the fall. Howard said the organization is focused on bringing overnight guests to town because they spend more than those visiting during the day and have less impact on the environment.

“It looks good in terms of what our goal would be to have the right visitor for the night who is going to produce that revenue goal. We are still trying to figure out what is that number that makes the business community happy and residents say “We can deal with that,” Howard said. “If we can find that number and both sides of our community are happy, we’ll feel like we’ve been successful and that will give us a role model for years to come. Right now, this summer, it looks like the potential for this number. I’m really optimistic that we will have a good balance that could satisfy all dimensions of our community.

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