Fremont County Lodging Study Reveals Growth, Potential

*(Fremont County, Wyo.) *- “Fremont County is evolving into a burgeoning year-round destination with the addition of gaming, increased outdoor activities, and shopping, lodging and dining,” says Berkeley Young of Young Strategies, who recently completed a Lodging Survey of Wind River Country/Fremont County. The Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) requested the lodging study by Young Strategies, based in North Carolina, to build upon baseline data from a similar 2010 study taken during the recession. The 2015 survey research entailed a one-page survey of lodging properties in the county and analysis of the results by Young Strategies. The survey focused on lodging data for the year 2014. The Wyoming Office of Tourism and the Wind River Visitors Council shared the cost of the study. “Key findings demonstrated growth across the county and presented opportunities for Wind River Country’s tourism future,” said Wind River Visitors Council Marketing Director Paula McCormick in response to the lodging analysis. “During the period of January, 2014, through March, 2015, hotel/motel occupancy was up every month for 15 months straight over the same month in the prior year,” said Brian Fabel, executive director of the Lander Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. The WRVC will analyze the remainder of the 2015 numbers in early 2016. “Every room night can generate room and dining revenue as well as fuel, shopping and activity expenditures,” Fabel continued. Between 2009 and 2014, demand for rooms in Fremont County increased 36 percent. Notably, that rate of growth came alongside a dramatic rise in lodging supply. The Holiday Inn Express, Lander, opened in late 2009, followed by the Hampton Inn & Suites, Riverton, in 2010 and the Wind River Hotel & Casino in 2013, for a total of 257 new rooms. In 2014, there were 32 hotel/motel/inn type properties in Fremont County with 1,289 rooms available. Riverton Chamber of Commerce Director Jim Davis thinks the work of the county's chambers and the WRVC to attract visitors is effective, adding with a chuckle, "It's trying to get them to slow down when they come through here." ​ As is nationally typical, December and January are the slowest months of the year, but business travelers and visiting friends and family stabilize winter numbers. And 2015’s winter numbers have already improved since the study was completed. “Winter lodging occupancy exceeded 50 percent for the first time in February and March 2015. This growth trend shows the potential for growth in the winter and shoulder season months,” McCormick said, adding the WRVC is pursuing new opportunities to do just that, for example marketing Wind River Country as a central location to hold meetings. The WRVC is eager to continue growth through focused efforts informed by the study. Anyone interested in the complete study can contact the WRVC at to request a copy. The study also includes data about the county’s guest ranches, RV parks, campgrounds, vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts. “Thank you to the lodging providers who made this study possible by providing data, feedback and ideas,” McCormick said. “We look forward to seeing what changes we can effect as we try to grow our fall, winter and spring seasons.” *Keep in touch with Wind River Country:* Facebook – Fan us! Twitter – Follow us! You Tube – Watch us! #news #sponsored #county10