If history is a guide, the region is hitting its stride when it comes to its tourism season. And although numbers are not available yet for June, the months leading to summer have already topped tourism tallies last year, according to Chelsy Offutt, director of communications with the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Offutt said the lodging and auto rental tax numbers, a combined 3 percent, lag by about eight weeks, but April’s collections were up, year to date, by nearly 19 percent.
According to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, May saw occupancy increases of 7 percent. The Rocky Mountain Lodging Report is collected from a sampling of various hotels within Colorado Springs and includes about 40 lodging facilities, including bed and breakfasts as well as full-service and limited-service hotels. The establishments report their numbers anonymously.
“These numbers, along with insight from area properties, indicates a nice solid summer for tourism,” Offutt said. “Milestone events like the 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, as well as the lure of the destination in an Olympic Games year, are also contributors to a strong season.”
While the CVB doesn’t have numbers to support the theory, “general visitor and media interest do seem to increase in [Olympic] Game years,” she said
In addition to year-round campaigns and marketing efforts, the CVB is running a specific campaign geared towards direct-flight cities trough the holiday weekend, Offutt said, including Houston, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Seattle and Las Vegas. Frontier conducted its inaugural flight from Colorado Springs Airport to Phoenix today.
Offutt said their listing of Fourth of July events in the region also draw a lot of web traffic. A full list of area Independence Day events can be found at visitcos.com/colorado-springs-co-july-4th-celebrations.