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How much do public school breaks influence midweek occupancy?

School breaks impact occupancy. We all know it. It’s part of the reason we release a school break report every spring. But how much of a difference do these days off actually make in the visitation and occupancy of resorts? Last week we looked at a shift in Easter’s place on the calendar. Today we’re digging into school breaks’ impact on midweek occupancy. Here’s what we found.

The Goods
To find our answer we again looked at mountain resorts in the Western U.S. and compared occupancy and breaks so far during the 2016/17 school year. We divided performance into groups based on how many of the 1,001 public schools from our sample were on break and found the average midweek occupancy for each group.

Looking just at this sample of midweek occupancy, the average occupancy was 50% when 0%-10% of public schools were on break, 52% when 10%-50% of schools were out, and 67% when 50%-100% were out.

What This Means
Again, it’s not a 1:1 difference because occupancy will never be as simple as school breaks, but the difference is telling. Between the 0%-10% group and 50%-100% group occupancy was up 35% (17 percentage points).

So do school breaks make a difference? Absolutely. And for an industry like mountain resorts it’s a major one. If you need a bit more context for differences in performance week-to-week this year, keep an eye on school breaks.

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