Like many ski markets, Park City, Utah has a strong summer season. The same mountain town that draws skiers during the winter attracts hikers, bikers, and foodies during the summer. Traditionally, the area sees a lull during September and October between the summer and winter peaks. This fall, however, vacation rental occupancy rates have stayed strong at over 20% higher than last year and only 10% lower than the summer peak. Park City’s exceptionally strong fall season reflects trends seen in other leisure markets around the country; travelers are taking advantage of flexible work and school schedules to travel, planning longer vacations, and making reservations closer to arrival.
Some key insights:
- The increase in occupancy has been driven not only by more check-ins (1.1 per property in 2019 to 2.2 in 2020) but also by longer stays; the average stay length increased from 6 days in 2019 to 8 days in 2020.
- Guests are making reservations much closer to their stays; the average booking window is 25 days shorter.
- Property managers are responding correctly to increased demand by raising rates; the average daily rate is $49 higher this year than last.
- Houses saw a slightly larger increase in adjusted paid occupancy than condos (+24.3% for houses vs. +21.8% for condos).
- The average bedroom size for booked properties was slightly smaller (3.05 in 2019 vs. 2.84 in 2020).
- Park City is drawing more visitors this year from a few large cities, such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York City.