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Third Quarter Visitor Survey Results Are Released

More than half of all who visited Estes Park in July, August and September were first time visitors according to third quarter results from a year-round study of visitation that was released this week.

Other information being collected from the study includes how much people spend while here and demographics such as level of education and household income. Among the measurements provided by the study are the respondents’ experiences while here compared to their expectations and what other communities were considered for their trip.

“The information being gathered will enable us to determine, by season, the visitor profile, the buying process, the visitor experience, visitor attitudes and awareness. In turn, the information will be used to drive the LMD’s marketing strategy including media allocation, branding, and positioning,” said LMD Executive Director Peggy Campbell.

Survey takers ask individuals visiting Estes Park for their email address and where they’re from prior to transmitting that information to Guest Research, Inc., the external vendor responsible for compiling and analyzing results. Those respondents are then sent an email with a link to the on-line survey. A total of 3,278 completed surveys were returned during July, August and September.

“The study showed there is a significant difference in the percentages between the day and overnight first time visitors, said Guest Research’s report. “Although it is often assumed that day visitors visit Estes Park more frequently, during the third quarter, 64 percent of the day visitors were visiting for the first time in five years, compared to only 42 percent of the overnight visitors visiting for the first time. These findings are consistent with second quarter figures,” according to Guest Research.

According to the survey results, during the third quarter, respondents’ parties were larger than in the first or second quarter and were significantly more likely to include three or more people than earlier in the year.

Consistent with previous quarter findings, the Day and Overnight visitor respondent base was highly educated: 38 percent reported having a college degree, 38 percent a post-graduate degree and 10 percent had done work toward a graduate degree.

Household incomes of the respondents also was high with 43 percent reporting income of more than $100,000.

Compared to expectations, 94 percent of respondents rated their overall visit experience “excellent” or “very good,” the highest-rated ratings of five choices.

When selecting Estes Park as a place to visit, 90 percent said they were looking for a “relaxing mountain getaway.” Other primary factors in deciding to visit here were Rocky Mountain National Park (83 percent), wildlife viewing (79 percent), outdoor recreation (76 percent) and low cost and/or good value (56 percent).

In the third quarter, 64 percent of the respondents (both day and overnight visitors) indicated they had not considered any other destination, while 25 percent said they had considered another Colorado destination. The most frequently-cited destinations included Colorado Springs, Denver, Breckenridge, Vail/Beaver Creek and Boulder.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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