Colorado Summer Tourism Shaping Up For A Banner Year

<p>(Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)</p>
<p>The Ute Trail below Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Aug. 22, 2015.</p>
Photo: Crowded Rocky Mountain National Park, Group Of Hikers (HV)
The Ute Trail below Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Aug. 22, 2015.

Advance reservations from more than 300 lodging properties across the state show bookings are up 11.6 percent over last year, according to DestiMetrics.

Ralf Garrison, DestiMetrics' founder, said more than half the number of reservations from 2015 are already on the books. And revenues are up 19 percent over this time last year, the biggest increase since 2007.

Garrison said a strong economy, low gas prices and the state’s branding are reasons why so many people are expected to flock to Colorado. The state is becoming a near year-round destination.

“Which is great news economically for those who like that, but not always great news for the locals who are accustomed to having some months of the year to themselves," Garrison said.

Garrison says summer tourism numbers are starting to catch up with the winter’s – a long-established season for tourism.