Sun Valley visitors getting richer

That’s one finding of an air-passenger survey.


The survey was carried last year by RRC Associates of Boulder, Colo., for the Fly Sun Valley Alliance. It polled 1,177 visitors and part-time homeowners at Friedman Memorial Airport.

Seventy-two percent of those queried were visitors, and 28 percent were part-time locals.

The survey showed that 32 percent of the visitors had an annual household income of $250,000 or more. Only 27 percent earned less than $100,000. Of the part-time residents, 70 percent had an income of at least $250,000 and 9 percent earned less than $100,000. The number of visitors in the $250,000-plus category was 10 percentage points higher than in a similar survey in 2011.

Despite those numbers, the poll found that one complaint of visitors to the area was “older/richer demographics.” Others were “lack of restaurant/shopping options” and “limited nightlife.”

Most respondents, however, loved their trips. The survey showed ratings of at least 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 in all 12 categories of trip experience. Fifty-eight percent of visitors said they would probably or definitely return within three years, and 66 percent said they would recommend the area to others. Only 9 percent said they would not.

The average length of stay was 4.7 nights, and 44 percent stayed with friends or in friends’ condos or houses. Average per-capita daily expenditure for visitors was $328, resulting in an average of $1,542 per visit.

Among both groups, there was an 18 percent increase in spending compared to 2011. Total annual estimated spending by both groups was $61 million.

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