Visits to Colorado ski resorts up 10 percent so far
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today that its 22 member resorts, which include four in the Aspen area, reported an increase in skier visitation for the beginning of the season.
Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by 10 percent during the first period of the 2010-11 season, defined as opening day of the season (this year October 24) through Dec. 31, 2010, compared to the same period of the prior year.
“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 are 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.
Guests enjoyed generous snow conditions over the Christmas holiday.
“Skiers and riders turned out in strong numbers to enjoy the slopes during the holidays, until the cold temperatures of the New Year’s weekend sent them in search of hot chocolate,” Mills said. “When our resorts are busy over the holidays it says a lot about the Colorado brand. And while snow is a key factor in skier visitation, we also account for our resorts top-notch service and popular programs and events.”
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.
Four of the 22 resorts that are members of Colorado Ski Country are owned by the Aspen Skiing Company: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.
Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone — all owned by Vail Resorts — are not members of Colorado Ski Country USA. Vail Resorts also owns Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe in California. Earlier this month, Vail Resorts reported early-season skier visits are up 10.1 percent and lift-ticket revenue is up 7.4 percent at its properties.
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