The best holiday season
in three years appears to be on the horizon for Colorado's tourism industry.
anxieties have begun to fade, the economy is rebounding and snow has begun to
pile up - which bodes well both for Coloradans taking vacations and others coming
and New Year's look absolutely tremendous," said Bill Tomcich, head of Stay
Aspen Snowmass, the largest reservation agency in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Automobile Association of America said Thursday that about 2.4 percent more Americans
are expected to travel for Thanksgiving than last year. Air travel should increase
1 percent as 4.6 million Americans take to the skies.
the trend could be even stronger in Colorado. Denver International Airport's traffic
was up nearly 4 percent through September. By comparison, the major U.S. airlines
saw their traffic decline 3 percent over the same period, according to the Air
Transport Association, an airline trade group.
online travel website Travelocity said Tuesday that Denver ranks No. 4 among U.S.
cities as a destination for Thanksgiving air travel this year. Last year, Denver
was No. 8.
far, Denver ranks second for the holiday season, just behind New York, said Amy
Ziff, Travelocity's editor-at-large.
looks like the ... snowfall has a lot of people focusing on skiing in Colorado
this year," Ziff said.
top two ski resorts are seeing strong demand.
hotel bookings in Vail and Beaver Creek are up 24 percent over last year, said
Kelly Ladyga, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts.
bookings for December in Aspen are up 20 percent, Tomcich said. "It's probably
the strongest demand we've seen since the 1997-98 season."
Airlines' planes are booked about 28 percent fuller than last year for the holidays,
spokesman Joe Hodas said.
travel agencies report strong holiday business, as well.
seems like people's confidence level is up, and the fear factor is going down,"
said David Rojahn, owner of DTR Travel in Centennial. "Plus the stock
market is up."
inquiries are running about 15 percent ahead of last year at DTR, Rojahn said.
Trippler, a travel expert with online agency Cheapseats.com, said the increased
traffic means airports and planes will be fuller this year than the past several
will be more people traveling on the Sunday after Thanksgiving than have on any
day since Sept. 11, (2001)," he predicted.
demand is strong even though leisure airfares are about 10 percent higher than
last year, he said. There are some fare sales - including a United Airlines sale
that ends today - but travelers have to fly on the holidays or other less-traveled
days, he said.