- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

VAIL, Colo. (AP) - Vail lodging managers are getting worried this Christmas season after a survey showed a decreased number of reservations. Now some lodges are offering Christmas week deals.

The drop is being blamed on the strength of the U.S. dollar, which has made travel to the United States more expensive, and wavering consumer confidence for Americans.

As of Nov. 30, advance bookings were down about 8 percent, and time is running out to make up for it.

Lodging managers are also hoping to attract more Front Range visitors and convince them to take a mountain holiday.

Vail Racquet Club General Manager Matt Ivy told the Vail Town Council that the outlook isn’t that bleak, and he expects that East Vail property to fill up by the time the holiday arrives, thanks to late-booking guests.

“Right now we’re just ahead of last year. … Two weeks ago we were down 10 percent,” Ivy said, adding that while January, February and March are lagging right now, he’s optimistic about the remainder of the winter.

Occupancy is below the marks set in the previous decade.

Officials say part of that occupancy decline is due to a decline in available rooms since 2011, leading to increased rates in some lodges. Both the Lionshead Inn and the Roost Lodge have closed, a loss of 152 hotel rooms.

The Lionshead Inn is being replaced with The Lion, a condominium project.

The Roost property remains vacant, although there are plans to someday build another hotel on the site, the Vail Daily reported (https://tinyurl.com/zstgua2).

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Information from: Vail Daily, https://www.vaildaily.com/

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