As part of BHHS Utah's "In Conversation with..." series, we sat down with Kim McClelland, Director of Lodging Operations for Deer Valley Resort. We were interested to see if McClelland had witnessed any outstanding trends, how business had been throughout the season, and any noteworthy visitor behaviors.
Although “The Greatest Snow on Earth” was conspicuously absent this winter, Park City’s three resorts successfully utilized their snow making and grooming capabilities to continue to provide a world class experience to visiting and local skiers.
So the obvious question is what impact did the paucity of snow have on Park City’s business activity? The answer is surprising little. Because of the outstanding capabilities of the resorts to make snow, combined with the strong brand identity Park City has built over the years and its ease of access, business has been very strong throughout the community.
Restaurants appear to be pacing ahead of last year. A number of business owners in the service industry are reporting gains in the range of 6% to 10% over last year. The lodging community is also reporting business levels that are up, and everyone is anticipating a strong finish to the season. At Deer Valley, our lodging numbers are pacing ahead of last year by 9%.
This season brought a strong influx of international travelers, which significantly supported business levels. According to our stats, Australia accounted for the largest number of international visitors followed by Mexico and Brazil. Domestically, our #1 destination market remains California followed by Texas, New York, New Jersey and then rounding out the top 5 is a virtual tie between Florida and Illinois.
The unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snow on the West coast and along the Northwest corridor most probably resulted in more Park City visitors. Special events like the Sundance Film Festival, Visa Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley and the Grand Prix races at Park City continue to draw additional pulses of visitors and media attention.
Overall, the consensus around the community was that the 2014-15 ski season was a successful one, with business activity pacing at least as well as last year if not a little better. That is an amazing accomplishment given Mother Nature’s lack of cooperation this year. This season’s success stands as a testament to Park City’s recognition as one of the premier destinations in the country.
Director of Lodging Operations
Deer Valley Resort