Bookings at Paradise Inn have been running about 10 percent behind the numbers in 2005, said David Wilde, managing director of Guest Services, Inc. The company runs the food and lodging operations in the park.
"We tend to look at 2005 as a base year," he said in a phone conversation this afternoon. That is the last year the inn operated under normal circumstances. After the inn was closed in 2006 and 2007 for major renovations, there was a lot of publicity about the inn reopening that inflated numbers last season.
"Coming into this month, we were down about 10 percent in our advance bookings. We felt that’s not too bad with the economy the way it is," Wilde said.
Wilde said the sunny and warm weather the last few weeks have helped attract people to Paradise and should help the rest of the summer.
"With the way the snow is melting, the wildflowers will be early this year and the trails will open a lot sooner this year," Wilde said.
A week ago, there was 140 inches of snow on the ground. But with daytime highs in the upper 60s and low 70s, snow levels were down to 111 inches this afternoon.