Cold snaps, transportation woes cited as possible factors in small decline
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Skier visits in Colorado dipped a fraction during the first couple of months of 2011, but remain ahead of last-year’s to-date totals by 3.4 percent, according to a tally released March 18 by Colorado Ski Country USA.
In a press release, the trade group said a couple of cold snaps during key weekends and transportation issues including I-70 congestion may have been factors in the small drop. Snow conditions in other parts of the country have also been very good this season, which sometimes translates into fewer destination trips to Colorado.
For the Jan. 1 to Feb. 28 period, skier visits were down .75 percent from the same period last season at the trade group’s 22 member ski areas.
“Here in Colorado, our season-to-date is the strongest the industry has seen since the 2007 -2008 season and the start of the recession,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.
Good snow conditions combined with signs of economic recovery resulted in very strong visitation in the first part of the season.
“Eager skiers and riders took to the slopes right from the start of the season, and continue to take advantage of the near record snowfall at many resorts,” she said. “It’s that dedication to the sport and loyalty guests have for Colorado’s resorts that has us on track for a solid season, albeit probably not one for the record books.”
Some resort areas, including Breckenridge (not a CSCUSA member), are reporting strong reservations through the end of March, but April is still a question mark.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a Colorado ski area.
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