Short-Term Rental Data Impacts on key Colorado, Utah & Wyoming Summer Tourist Hotspots

August 12, 2020

Lake Tahoe, Park City, Jackson Hole, and the ski areas in Colorado’s Summit and Eagle Counties are best known as winter destinations but are also popular during the summer for hiking, water sports, and other warm-weather outdoor adventures. To understand how summer 2020 is stacking up to 2019, we look at the year over year vacation rental data changes in average daily rates, occupancy, and revenue per available rental.

The ramifications of a slow summer season vary based on the market’s reliance on summer revenue. Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole, in particular, rely on June, July, and August for a large portion of their annual revenue. Just last year, short-term rentals in Jackson Hole made 41% of their annual revenue between June and August and Lake Tahoe vacation rentals brought in 42%. Park City and the Summit and Eagle Ski Areas still see a respectable amount of activity during the summer months but revenue during that time is slightly less crucial for their yearly earnings.

Key Occupancy Trends:

  • The Summit and Eagle Ski Areas, Lake Tahoe, and Park City have all shown higher total occupancy rates (paid nights, owner nights, and hold nights) this summer as compared to last year. However, the increases have been driven by a much higher rate of hold nights. In Lake Tahoe, total occupancy was 23% higher in June 2020 than in 2019, primarily due to held nights since California rentals were under restrictions longer than the other markets. So, while the total occupancy rate has been higher, rentals have not necessarily been making more money.
  • Of the four markets, Jackson Hole usually has the highest summer occupancy rates. This year, it also had the largest decline in total occupancy (pacing at -7% for August). The changes in total occupancy have been driven by substantial declines in the paid occupancy rate, possibly because of the area’s reliance on air travel.
  • With the exception of Jackson Hole, each market experienced only small year-over-year changes in the paid and owner occupancy rates.

all markets occ by type

Key ADR Trends:

  • Each of the short-term rental markets had average daily rates that were lower than last year in June and higher than last year in August.
  • Jackson Hole had the most rate volatility with a decline of $84 in June and an increase of $69 in August.
  • Park City rates were fairly consistent year-over-year.

all markets adr

Key RevPAR Trends:

** RevPAR is the revenue per available rental for all nights, including nights taken by owners or blocked. We often report on adjusted RevPAR which only considers guest nights but due to the drastic difference in hold nights versus last year due to COVID, unadjusted RevPAR is a more realistic indicator of revenue performance.

  • Jackson Hole: In June, RevPAR declined dramatically due to the combination of the lower paid occupancy rate and the lower average daily rate. The higher rates during July and August did not make up for the lower occupancy so RevPAR was lower than in 2019.
  • Lake Tahoe: July was a great month for Lake Tahoe rentals; RevPAR was $32 higher than last year due to a small increase in the paid occupancy rate and a substantial increase in the average daily rate. Despite a small decrease in August paid occupancy, August RevPAR is projected to be higher than last year due to a higher average daily rate.
  • Park City: Park City Area rentals have seen only small changes in occupancy and rates compared to last year, which means RevPAR is also fairly stable.
  • Summit and Eagle County Ski Areas: After a slower June, RevPAR increased moderately over 2019 in July and August due to small increases in paid occupancy.

all markets revpar

The unpredictability of summer 2020 is evident in year-over-year and month-to-month changes in the average daily rate, different occupancy types, and resulting RevPAR. In the middle of an ever-changing travel season, rentals in three of these mountain markets have, on average, brought in more revenue in July and August. Jackson Hole stands out as the exception, perhaps because it is a more predominantly fly-to market than the others. As the summer comes to a close, these mountain west markets will now begin to prepare for peak season. Many unknowns remain. Will air travel return? How will social distancing take place on ski slopes? Although we may not have all the answers, vacation rental market data performance can be made clear with Key Data’s access to over 20+ major ski resorts throughout the west.

Contact us to learn more about these markets or how your rentals are pacing for the coming months.

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