Despite tough economic times, companies are still planning to have holiday parties, even if they’ll be less extravagant.

The Challenger, Gray & Christmas annual holiday party survey showed only 62 percent of companies are planning holiday parties – down from 77 percent a year ago.

By contrast, during 2007, 90 percent were planning holiday parties.

Locally, Cheyenne Mountain Resort is hosting the “Big Little Holiday Party” again this season, in which small businesses can participate in one large party in the ballroom.

Heath Patrick, director of conference services and catering for the resort, said businesses are still “very budget conscious” this season. Some companies are waiting until the last minute for budget outcomes before booking parties.

“We’re seeing more short-term bookings than is typical,” Patrick said, “and more will come in.”

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The Olive Branch Restaurant owner Mark Meltzer said he is booked a little more than last year, but still has dates available.

For companies that are planning holiday parties, the theme is likely to be low budget and low profile, as 28.5 percent are spending 10 to 20 percent less than last year, according to the Challenger survey.

Although executives are budget-conscious this year, 70 percent of companies will hold their events off-site, and 57 percent will serve alcohol.


  1. We’ve cancelled our party here, but I think it is a sensible decision given the economy. Would rather be able to keep my job than go to a party…

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