Conventional wisdom has it that economic downturns inspire companies to target niche markets, and one that has increasingly been on the travel industry radar is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market.
According to a study by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications, LGBT travelers may not have more money than their heterosexual counterparts, but they do spend more.
In fact, the survey showed that LGBT consumers planned to spend an average of $800 more on vacations between May and August of 2009 than other respondents.
Ski areas are betting that that trend will continue into the winter season, going all out to attract LGBT visitors with discounts and special events set to take place at Gay Ski Weeks throughout the country, from Telluride and Aspen to Whistler and Stowe.
Vail Gay Ski Week 2010, for example, features a package that tacks on a free two-night stay in Las Vegas to any booking of two or more nights at participating properties in Vail.
Vail Gay Ski Week 2010, presented by Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals, will take place Jan. 27 through 31, and hotels and condos range from five-star to the budget-friendly.
The Vail Plaza Hotel & Club was tapped to be the official host for the event, serving as an information and registration hub for participants as well as the site for several special events.
Activities on tap for the week include apres ski parties, on-mountain ski events and Vail Splash Club, wherein hardy participants jump into icy water for charity.
For more on deals and activities, visit www.vailgayskiweek.com.