bodegahwy

bodegahwy,

How’s the weather? Is it true that early week snows lead to busier weekends? We’ve had our busiest summer yet, what is your forecast for this winter? Will you set new records, and will you document that week as you have in the past??

Hope everything is going well for you and yours!!

Sounds like you need to familiarize yourself with the http://www.pmq.com/tt/templates/PMQ/images/lang_english/icon_pm.gif button.

Probably, but in past threads, a lot is gleaned from bodegahwy’s experiences through the winter. While it doesn’t apply to all operators, it applies to some. As such, the questions are better in public (if he’s willing) than in private.

We joke around here that we are all farmers and depend on the snow to bring in the crop.

Good reports of snow do help bookings in town, and how busy we are is closely correlated with how many visitors we have in town. With that said, snow early in the week really only impacts front range (Denver, Boulder, Ft Collins) visitors. Those visitors do tend to be weekend visitors. So, yes, snow early in the week can boost the weekend, but the effect is not large. The coverage Colorado is getting around the country for snow in Denver this week will probably boost Christmas business by an amount greater than the effect of weekly snow has on front range business. (A snowy Monday Night Football Broncos home game has been known to spike calls to central reservations)

According to the marketing guys at the ski resort who are responsible for forecasting the season, the number of visitors depends more on the economy than it does on the snow. When people feel confident about things, they are willing to spend money on a vacation. The early word on this season is that bookings are looking better than was feared and some what better than last winter.

These bookings are being driven by bargains on lodging and packages. My business depends on there being people here so more visitors is good news. I do not expect a record season though. The boom times of 2006 - 2008 are behind us for the time being.

What I have learned in the last 10 winters here is that even though the numbers vary from season to season, the pattern does not. I expect that we will hit our biggest week beginning on the 26th as we have in every one of the 10 winters we have been open.

Last year we sold our #2 location (slices) and now are operating only our delco (and the new retail store we opened that is in the link in my sig). In our biggest seasons, daily sales at the delco have jumped to 4-5K during that week. Last winter we hit 4K but most of the days that week we in the 3s. I expect this winter to look a lot like last winter.

I hope that helps.

I do a daily sales forecast in advance that I ask the manager to use for staffing and buying. At this point, I have done that forecast though April. I look at and revise that forecast again on a regular basis. I mostly look about 2-3 weeks out and track how we are doing compared to the same period last year as well as taking acount of events in town, any marketing we are doing and information from our chamber about room bookings.

If I see that we are running even with last year and bookings are similar I am going to forecast that our sales will be flat unless there is something I I know that would make things different. If we are tracking up or down 10% for the last week or two, I am going to assume that the coming week will also be up or down accordingly. If we had 8,000 visitors during this week last year and the forecast from lodging is for 6,000 or 12,000 I will respond accordingly.

When my manager writes the schedule, he has access to my forecast and is responsible to be ready to do the business forecasted.

Right now, I am forecasting the holidays to equal last year. During that week the pattern tends to relate to proximity to the 25th and the 1st more than to day of the week. For the rest of the season day of the week in more important when comparing to prior seasons. If we are up or down going into the week of the 21st I will revise the forecast.

BTW, Pizza2007, where are you located?

I’m located on the southeast coast, near Jacksonville. Mostly tourism traffic - heavy summer business, little winter business.

I think that one of the keys to sucess in tourist markets like ours it to be readyt to do the business when it comes and maintain quality and service while doing so. As I wrote to you when you PM’d me a few months ago, I tend to divide the year into periods where we concentrate on maximizing the business and periods where we focus on controlling the costs.

For me, a solid forecasting model is crucial.