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Colorado resorts report modest growth in skier visits

A strong spring season helped boost skier visits to Colorado ski areas.

A strong spring season helped boost skier visits to Colorado ski areas. Bob Berwyn photo.

Strong spring fuels rebound

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Visits to all Colorado ski areas recovered from another slow start, reversed last season’s downhill slide and rebounded 3.95 percent to pass last winter’s totals, according to figures released this week by Colorado Ski Country USA. Visits to all Colorado resorts totaled 11.44 million during the winter of 2012-2013.

For the 21 areas that are members of CSCUSA, visits totaled 6.4 million, up about 3.8 percent (about 235,000 skier visits) from the previous season.

Colorado resorts outperformed the rest of the Rocky Mountain region, which tallied a 1.9 percent increase, but fell short of the national overall increase of 11 percent. The biggest growth nationally was in the Pacific Southwest and Northeast regions, which showed increases of more than 20 percent as they rebounded from a horrible snow year the previous season. Continue reading

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Colorado skier visits stabilize during the heart of the season

Good late-season snow conditions should help Colorado ski areas bounce back partially from a so-so start to the season.

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

Colorado skier visits take another big hit

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An early season snow drought dampened skier visits in Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

Ski resort trade group reports early season double-digit drop for the second year in a row

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — For the second year in a row, Colorado ski areas were hit hard by a lack of early season snow, as skier visits dipped 11.5 percent for the period spanning opening day to Dec. 31. Last winter, the state’s ski resort association reported that visits dropped 10 percent from the year before that.

Variable snow conditions and some late openings were factors in the decline, according to Colorado Ski Country USA president and CEO Melanie Mills.

“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors, and an unseasonably warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days,” Mills said. “Snow did not arrive in earnest until mid-December, but when it came, it was in time for in-state and out-of-state guests to enjoy wonderful wintery holidays at resorts.” Continue reading

Colorado resorts feel the pain of low-snow year

Powder days were few and far between at Colorado ski areas. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Visits at Colorado Ski Country USA resorts drop by 790,000 from last season during dry winter

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Skier visits at Colorado Ski Country USA resorts dropped by about 790,000 from last year, mainly because of sparse and inconsistent snowfall, according to industry leaders gathered for the trade group’s annual meeting.

Early snow helped some resorts open ahead of schedule, but the heart of the winter was dry, and visitation dwindled, especially during the crucial spring season, when March was reported as one of the driest winter months on record.

“Fortunately, seasons such as the one just ended have proved to be historically rare and the ski industry has exhibited a remarkable ability to bounce back after poor snow years in the past,” said CSCUSA president and CEO Melanie Mills. Continue reading

Colorado early season skier visits down 10 percent

Low snow keeps local skiers home

A season that started with a lot of promise early has experienced some low-snow hiccups.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Early season skier visits in Colorado are down about 10 percent from last winter, the state’s 22-member trade association reported this week, attributing the drop to variable snow conditions.

The early season period covers opening day through Dec. 31. 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 mountain resort. Continue reading

Colorado early season skier visits up 10 percent

Powder, powder, powder …

Good early season snow and slowly improving economy helped boost visits at Colorado Ski Country USA's 22 member areas.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s ski areas reported a robust start to the season, with the 22 members of Colorado Ski Country USA tallying a 10 percent increase in skier visits for the early season period, from opening day (Oct. 24) through Dec. 31.

The tally doesn’t include visits at Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek, which together account for a significant percentage of the state’s ski business. According to this Jan. 10 press release from Vail Resorts, the company also saw skier visits rise about 10 percent from last season, through Jan. 6.

Last winter, the state’s ski trade group reported a 1 percent increase from the previous season. Last winter’s ski season started earlier after big snows in October, but snowfall fizzled out during prime-time.

“Consistent snow and reliable conditions contributed to a very positive start to the season,” said Melanie Mills, president & CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “There is a lot of ski season left but we’ve set a good pace, have great snow conditions and hope the momentum continues.”

Abundant early season snow across much of the state allowed many resorts to open with more terrain and lifts than is typically offered on an opening day or even in the early season. The variety of terrain available by November, along with heavy November snow, helped get the word out and drive visitation to resorts around the Thanksgiving holiday. However, in few parts of the state, drier conditions brought challenges to some resorts which saw later opening dates than normal.

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