Chamber of Commerce tracking data as new efforts begin

Who were the visitors from Norway and Singapore?

By Mark Reaman 

As the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce continues an effort to upgrade its mission and services, it is also monitoring its current status. In a report to both town councils, the Chamber said that the number of visitors to each of the visitor’s centers correlated to the slight decrease in the overall number of visitors during the heart of last ski season.

In the first quarter of 2024, “Visitation to the Gunnison Valley was similar to last year, if not slightly down, with TAPP (Tourism and Prosperity Partnership) reporting 161,000 total visitors during Q1, which is a drop of 400 visitors over last year. Both visitor’s centers saw similar trends to Q1 of 2023, with only slight differences in numbers month over month to last year,” the report to the councils stated.

With both locations closed for Easter, they were open a total of 89 days in the first three months of the year. According to the report, staff at both locations helped a total of 6,360 guests in Q1 of 2024, the bulk of the ski season. That is 2% higher than the same timeframe of last year. Mt. Crested Butte was the busier location with 4,770 people coming in compared to 1,590 in Crested Butte. CB saw 50 more visitors than in 2023 while Mt. Crested Butte had 77 more visitors. 

The Chamber also responded to 103 email requests for information during that time, a 10% increase over 2023. As for phone inquiries, the Chamber responded to 415 phone calls to Crested Butte and 190 that came through Mt. CB.

Some of the walk-in visitors provided some voluntary information that indicated 66% of the visitors were in the area to participate in snow sports, 14% were visiting friends or family, 13% were here for a wedding and 6% were in town for a conference. Not surprisingly, Colorado residents were the number one demographic of visitors (39%) followed by Texans (13%).

“International visitation continues to hold a fairly low percentage in overall visitation — just above 2% of total visitors are from outside the US — but with a wide variety of countries,” the reports stated. An accompanying chart indicated almost 20% of the international visitors hailed from New Zealand or Australia. Canada came in at 16% while Germany registered 11% of visitors and both Norway and Singapore, among other countries, registered 1% each.

The report stated there was a shift from 2023 with the age of visitors and it was trending younger. The highest visitation came among 45- to 55-year-olds (37%), and a higher percentage of visitors under the age of 55 was connecting with the visitor’s centers. Just 6% of the visitors were between the ages of 18 and 24. 

Other Chamber info

The report said the Chamber is continuing its efforts to implement some change for the summer. Interactive kiosks will be implemented in both the Crested Butte Four-Way space and at the Mt. Crested Butte transit center location for the summer.

The report said the Chamber’s email list audience is at 895 and the weekly emails saw an open rate of 43%. Active membership is at 309 as of March 31 which was 11 fewer members than in 2023. “While we have picked up six new members this year, as I’ve worked my way through a backlog of accounts receivable, I’ve found memberships that were lapsed or cancelled but actually cancelled in our systems,” said Chamber executive director Heather Leonard, who said she is working to clean up outstanding invoices to have an accurate picture of memberships moving forward.

Aside from the new kiosks in the visitor’s centers, other expected changes for the summer season include an upgrade of the retail selection available, an upgrade in the Wi-Fi so guests can have free Wi-Fi in the visitor’s centers and preparing for mobile visitor’s centers at select summer events like the summer concerts and Farmer’s Market.

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