When you want to ski, Colorado is the place to be
You wouldn’t realize it by the appearance this week of apricot blossoms and crocuses, but Colorado ski resorts saw an increase in skier traffic during January and February, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.
Earlier this week, Colorado Ski Country reported skier and snowboarder visits at its 21 member resorts were up by 3.7 percent during the second period of the 2014-15 season, January 1 to February 28, compared to the same period last year.
“At the start of the season, we set a strong pace in visitation, and that pace continued through the second period, exceeding expectations given some bouts of unseasonable weather in January,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “The steady pace of skier visits speaks volumes to Colorado’s reputation for having consistent, reliable snow conditions and being the top ski destination.”
In the same vein, Vail Resorts recently issued a financial report describing the current ski season “as strong” at its Colorado resorts.
This came despite a continuing drought near Lake Tahoe, where the company operates the Heavenly and Northstar resorts.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said current seasonal snowfall at those resorts is down 43 percent from last season’s low snow total.
Second-period visitation pushed the Colorado ski industry slightly ahead in total season-to-date skier visits compared with the same time last year.
For the period defined as opening day through February 28, visitation at Colorado Ski Country USA resorts this year has been up by 1.9 percent compared with the same time last season, which was the best season on record.
“One of the benefits of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado is taking advantage of beautiful sunshine, which visitors saw a lot of in January, until snowy, wintry weather returned in February,” Mills said.
“In February, consistent snowstorms swept across the state, raising spirits and snowpack.”
Mills said lingering snowpacks and spring break should combine to keep the state numbers strong through the end of the ski season.
“Looking ahead, we’re cautiously optimistic, especially since we still have a lot of ski season left,” she said. “March and April are typically very snowy months in Colorado, and we’d be thrilled to see this pace continue.”
Individual resorts no longer report skier visits. Final season-visitation numbers will be announced at Colorado Ski Country USA’s 52nd annual meeting in June.