A previous 4th of July main street parade is seen in Breckenridge. Experts expect the travel craze to continue throughout the spring and summer.
Breckenridge Visitor Center / Courtesy Photo

As Breckenridge continues a busy week of travelers during spring break, experts expect the travel enthusiasm to continue throughout the spring and summer.

“We are running for February, March and winter as a whole – approximately – at 17% over last year (accommodation bookings of the year), which was a down year,” the chairwoman said. of the Breckenridge Visitor Center Lucy Kay at the Breckenridge Town Council on Tuesday March 8th. “We’re pretty much flat for the winter (2019-20), which was the last normal winter.”

Kay also said the peak week for Breckenridge will be this week – Saturday March 12 to Saturday March 19.

“We’re around 90% or most of these days, which is normal,” Kay added. “April is well ahead of last year due to where Easter falls and the long extended summer season. Summer bookings are looking good. We don’t have the full season yet in the books, but the bands are coming back.

According to latest data from Destination Analystsa travel data research firm, 74% of more than 1,200 people surveyed across the United States said they would be “excited” if a good friend invited them on a weekend getaway.

In the most recent presentation of findings regarding the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. travel, David Bratton, Founder and Managing Director of Destination Analysts, said travelers surveyed were looking to travel in 2022. However, concerns over the COVID-19 were still prevalent.

“Our main finding this week is that the excitement of traveling is really high,” Bratton said. “A lot of our tracking metrics are hitting records or approaching the records we saw last summer, but personal health issues are still a significant issue. With all the fun we’re having there, don’t think that travelers are not concerned about the virus.”

The latest survey also showed that 56.6% of respondents expressed concern about current coronavirus trends and caught the virus themselves. The highest percentage of respondents – 18.9% – said their concerns were a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Despite the concerns, a majority of travelers surveyed by Destination Analysts said they believed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic would improve over the next month. The results showed that 40% said they thought it would not get worse or better, and nearly 70% said it was important or very important to them that their travel destinations continue to maintain COVID-19 safety protocols and practices.

Kay said Denver is now the third most popular airport in the world, driven primarily by domestic travelers, which could also boost tourism in Summit County.

“Half of (travellers) say they’re not going to travel abroad because of what’s going on (in Europe regarding the conflict in Ukraine), so it’s good for the domestic market,” Kay said. . “Interestingly, 70% of them still want to see the COVID protocols in place, which is surprising. I thought that was really high.

Regarding the summer, she added that rising gas prices will impact travelers in the coming months. In recent days, gasoline prices in Colorado have been approaching and exceeding $4 per gallon. With changes in inflation and future capital projects happening this summer, Kay said the tourist board’s summer plan is currently fluid.

In February, the board met and discussed the increased traffic and parking issues that occurred during the 2022 International Snow Sculpting Championships. Over 14,000 people registered for the advance to the event and city officials said 93,627 vehicles passed through Breckenridge during the week.

“Given all the changes, what (the tourist board) is doing at the moment is we come in (and) we reconvene our marketing committee and then at our board meeting later this month, we’re really re-evaluating our summer plan,” Kay said. construction and traffic, and thinking about how we tweak our messaging a bit more – (making sure) we get the stuff before arrival and that the lodge is on board to work with us on this bit. , with everything that is happening in Europe, we are really looking for what will help with marketing.”