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Visit Grand Junction Stakeholder eNewsletter - August 2022

Elizabeth's GJ Communiqué

Two weeks ago, I attended U.S. Travel Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO). Destination marketers gather each year to learn, network, and knowledge-share while discussing the latest trends, tools, and techniques that are developing in the tourism industry.

It was reported that although occupancy is softening across the country, due to economic factors, hotels are overcoming this by increasing room rates and consumers are not hesitating to pay the higher daily rates. Grand Junction has been doing a fantastic job at driving rates; however, there is still room to grow it further. Reference the Lodging Tax Revenue Report for June data below.

Simpleview revealed a Destination Dashboard Insights Hub that can be used by DMOs and tourism stakeholders to provide real-time data on ROI metrics that compares YOY measurement from 2019. Data is aggregated from over 300+ DMOs, providing benchmarks for web traffic, booking windows, length of stay, website traffic, and more. Whether you are a hotel, retail, restaurant, or activity - this data provides information you can use to gauge how you are pacing in the market, including meetings & events.

If you would like to learn insights and attend educational sessions yourself, join Visit Grand Junction at this year's Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference in Snowmass, CO. Visit GJ will cover your costs - details below.

Thank you,
Elizabeth
Director, Visit Grand Junction
ElizabethF@GJcity.org or 970-256-4052

Lodging Tax Revenue Report

June 2022

From the 4.25% lodging tax collections that Visit GJ received, June 2022’s business was flat compared to June 2021 (adjusted for late and missing payments and does include short-term rental revenue YTD). 

Of the Grand Junction lodging properties that reported their metrics to STR, LLC., occupancy for June 2022 was 79.2%, ADR was $129.07 and RevPAR was $102.26. June 2022's ADR and RevPAR were the highest for any June in Grand Junction's lodging history, while occupancy was tied with June 2017’s occupancy as the second-highest for any June (June 2021's occupancy of 84.9% was the highest). Grand Junction experienced an increase in all hotel metrics compared to the previous month of May. June 2022’s business experienced a factor of a 1.8% increase in occupancy, a 2.4% increase in ADR, and a 4.4% increase in RevPAR compared to May 2022.

Total lodging tax collections received year-to-date through June 2022’s business is 15.5% higher compared to the same six-month YTD period last year.
*Includes short-term rental lodging tax income for first and second quarter, 2022.
Grand Junction hotels continue to do a fantastic job with revenue management strategies, even when there is a decrease in occupancy compared to the same month of the previous year. This demonstrates that proper revenue management goes beyond seasonal demand. It also incorporates price elasticity of demand, market rates, room availability, forecasted demand, target segment, and social value, as mentioned in the article by HNR Hotel News Revenue Management in the Post-Pandemic Travel Landscape. The article also introduces a new metric for hotels to consider, Total Revenue Per Available Room (TRevPar), which incorporates attribute-based selling. Be sure to check it out!

If you would like additional assistance with your revenue management strategies in the coming months, please don’t hesitate to contact Elizabeth at ElizabethF@GJCity.org.

Click here for the latest sales, use, and lodging tax collection reports from the City of Grand Junction.
For national metrics, Grand Junction was 13.0% higher than U.S. hotels in average occupancy, 16.8% lower in ADR (proof there is room to raise rates), and 5.9% lower in RevPAR for June 2022. As a reminder, U.S. metrics include major metropolitan areas like NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, etc. Those cities and hundreds of others create a dichotomy concerning the unbalanced comparison of Grand Junction metrics to U.S. metrics. Nevertheless, comparing your hotel's performance to the U.S. hotel industry, in general, helps identify areas of strength and areas of improvement to remain positioned where you want to be.  
Compared to the entire state, Grand Junction was 4.0% higher than Colorado hotels in average occupancy, 25.1% lower in ADR, and 27.1% lower in RevPAR for June 2022, mainly due to Colorado’s higher ADR. 

When excluding Colorado ski towns (Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Snowmass, Aspen, Crested Butte, and Telluride), Grand Junction was 8.1% higher than the rest of the state in average occupancy, 9.3% lower in ADR (again, proof there is room to raise rates), and only 1.9% lower in RevPAR, due to the rest of state’s higher ADR. Please remember that the two largest Colorado cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, will still weigh the data disproportionately compared to Grand Junction.
*Source: STR, LLC. - REPUBLICATION OR OTHER RE-USE OF STR’s DATA WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF STR IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Consumer Data You Should Know

Even though Grand Junction has experienced a speedy rebound in travel and an overall increase over pre-pandemic levels, the United States as a whole is behind in travel spending. For 2022, the U.S. is projected to see a decrease of $206 billion due to the pandemic (adjusted for inflation).
What does this tell you as a tourism business owner? Based on the data above, even though business seems to have gone back to normal and revenue has increased over the past 2-3 years, due to inflation, your profit may still be lagging. With inflation still rising, it is recommended to take advantage of marketing solutions that yield results. Digital marketing has proven to be one of the best strategies to garner business and increase ROI. According to WebsiteBuilderExpert.com, email marketing campaigns are one of the most effective solutions. The average email marketing campaign sees a 3600% ROI, which is an average of $36 earned for every $1 spent on marketing. Using tools like email campaigns can continue to keep your business and brand in front of the consumer and offer MOM and YOY metrics to help you monitor your success.

Visit Grand Junction has partnered with Destination Travel Network to assist in your digital marketing initiatives. Currently, Visit GJ has a co-op program where we will cover 50 percent of your costs. This can include a new website, SEO, blog writing, eNewsletters, customer engagement software, and more. Contact MasonB@GJcity.org for more details.

Sources: Tourism Economics, U.S. Travel Association, and WebsiteBuilderExpert.com

Community Corner

The Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference is back and so is the Visit Grand Junction Scholarship Program! For the fourth year, Visit GJ is offering scholarships (includes conference meals, registration, carpool, and hotel) for those interested in attending the conference hosted in Snowmass, Colorado - Wednesday, September 21 through Friday, September 23. If you are interested in attending with the Visit Grand Junction team, please complete this application ASAP to be considered for the scholarship program. The conference is fun, entertaining, and you'll learn a lot - join us!

Love'n GJ on Social Media

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