Posted on May 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. resorts tallied 56.6 million skiers visits — and counting — in he 2012-2013 ski season.
All regions post increases from last year
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After a big dip last season, skier visits rebounded strongly in the 2012-2013 season, climbing up to 56. million with the season still going strong at areas like Mammoth Mountain and Arapahoe Basin.
For the country as a whole, skier visits climbed 11 percent from last season. Skier visits in the Pacific Southwest and Northeast regions climbed more than 20 percent from last winter, not surprising, since they were the areas hit hardest by sparse snowfall and an early meltdown last year.
Resorts in all regions started slow but skier visits gained momentum through the holidays and spring break. Overall, 78 percent of reporting ski areas posted increases in visits. The median resort experienced a 10.6 percent gain in visits, according to a release from the National Ski Areas Association. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, ski industry, Ski Resorts | Tagged: 2012-2013 skier visits, National Ski Areas Association, NSAA, ski industry, skiing | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 27, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Policy change enables agency to charge per-person fees
Cyclists cruise the Summit County recpath on Forest Service land during the 2012 Colorado Cyclist Copper Triangle, a cycling tour in Lake, Summit, and Eagle Counties based at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Photo courtesy Steve Peterson/Copper Triangle.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The White River National Forest has revamped its fee structure for special events using local bike paths that cross national forest lands. Under the changes, organizers of cycling events like the Copper Triangle will pay a graduated per-person fee ranging from $1 per person, up to $2 per person for larger events.
The new fees, authorized under a local special use amendment, will affect special events using three specific bike paths: Vail Pass, Glenwood Canyon and the recpath system around Dillon Reservoir in Summit County, according to WRNF supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. Continue reading
Filed under: biking, Colorado, economy, events, recreation, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Colorado, Copper Triangle, forest service fees, Mark Udall, Summit County recpath, United States Forest Service, Vail Pass, White River National Forest | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 3, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
More wind power in Colorado’s future? Photo courtesy UCAR.
New bill would expand renewable energy standards to rural electricity co-ops
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — New legislation proposed by Colorado lawmakers could help refocus the energy debate by shifting more demand to renewable sources.
Under the Ritter administration, Colorado took significant steps to move toward renewable sources, but that momentum has faltered under Gov. Hickenlooper, widely seen as tilting toward the fossil fuel industry.
Senate Bill 252 would expand Colorado’s renewable energy standard by raising the percentage of retail electricity sales that must be achieved from renewable energy resources by cooperative electric associations that provide service to 100,000 meters or more from 10 percent to 25 percent starting in 2020. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado democrats, renewable energy, Sustainable energy | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Good late-season snow conditions should help Colorado ski areas bounce back partially from a so-so start to the season.
Ski trade group reports slight increase from last season for the January-February period
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After dropping steeply last season and the first part of this winter, Colorado skier visits stabilized during the past few months, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.
The state’s ski industry trade group said skier visits at its 21 member resorts climbed 1.3 percent during January and February, compared to the same two months last season.
For the season to-date, visitation at CSCUSA resorts was down 4.2 percent compared to the same time last season, defined as opening day through February 28. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, recreation, ski industry, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Ski Country USA, Colorado skier visits, skiing | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Major capital investments announced for upcoming seasons
Vail Resorts is talking up the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge as part of its capital investment plan for the coming season.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Vail Resorts said business bounced back after a slow start to the season, with some of the company’s resorts posting record business during the Christmas holiday period. VR’s net income climbed 30.5 percent, to $60.5 million in the second fiscal quarter compared to last season, with skier visits up 2.9 percent and mountain net revenue up by 9.5 percent.
“We are very pleased with our performance in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which was notable for two distinct dynamics we experienced in the quarter,” VR CEO Rob Katz said this week during a call announcing the company’s second quarter earnings. “The first was our results through the middle of December, which were marked by unusually warm and dry weather in Colorado that limited the terrain we could open, leading to lower than expected results for our four Colorado resorts. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, ski industry, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado, Vail Resorts | Tagged: Breckenridge Ski Area, business, Colorado, ski industry, Vail Colorado, Vail Resorts | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Top officials warn of negative impacts to gateway communities
Colorado National Monument could be hit by federal budget cuts under the sequester.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Visits to national parks in the U.S. climbed to 282 million in 2012, up 3.8 million from the previous year, top federal officials said this week, highlighting the role of parks tourism as an economic engine as they released the results of an annual analysis that details the financial contribution of parks to local communities.
According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent), and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).
But Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and NPS director Jon Jarvis said that role is threatened by looming budget cuts that would delay openings at some parks and possible even curtail access based on concerns about public safety. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, economy, national parks, public lands, Uncategorized | Tagged: federal budget, Ken Salazar, national park budget cuts, National Park Service, sequester | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Tourists take photos at the Golden Gate Bridge overlook in Marin County, California. Bob Berwyn photo.
UN officials see tourism as an economic pillar
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Now that the World Tourism Organization has counted every last airline traveler, cruise passenger and backpacker, it’s official — international tourist arrivals grew by 4 percent in 2012 to surpass 1 billion for the first time ever, according to the latest update of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Emerging economies led the way, showing growth of 4.1 percent, compared to 3.6 percent growth among advanced economies, with Asia and the Pacific showing the strongest results. By region, Asia and the Pacific showed 7.1 percent growth. By sub-region, South-East Asia, North Africa (both at plus 9 percent) and Central and Eastern Europe (plus 8 percent) topped the rankings.
Tourism officials say they expect growth to continue in 2013 at a slightly slower pace between 3 and 4 percent, continuing the trend from the last quarter of 2012, when demand was stronger than expected. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, economy, tourism, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged: global tourism, Taleb Rifai, Tourism, Travel, World Tourism Organization | Leave a comment »