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Trends Q: Age vs resort spend: when does lodging spend peak for destination guests?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Following up on a few of our recent analyses of behaviors related to a guest’s age, we looked at one more today: lodging spend. As life circumstances like family, income, and retirement flow with age, how does that impact the revenue each visitor generates and where does it peak? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
We took data from from 7 mountain resorts for the last two winter seasons for this analysis. Over 45,000 reservations were included from guests that were broken up into 5 year increments from 20 – 75 years of age. Average lodging spend for each group broke down as follows:

Right off the bat three simple trends are visible:

  1. Spending is lowest with the youngest group from 21-25
  2. Spending peaks in the 41-45 range.
  3. Spending drops after 41-45, but levels out from 56-75

While spending patterns do hold pretty steady after 55, the average is still above the 31-35 group and more than nearly 30% higher than guests in their 20s.

What This Means
This chart provides a few simple lessons, but let’s look at two.

First, guests in their 40’s should be spending more than other groups. As their income increases along with the possibility of family size and age, spending on a vacation should increase as well.

Second, the rise in spending from age 21 upward is significant: increasing nearly 70% by age 40. If younger guests return year after year, you should likely be seeing an increase in spend as time goes by.

Keep in mind, this is an average and each resort peaked at a slightly different spot. Run your own numbers and find the demographic sweet spot for your resort’s guests.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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