Colorado skier numbers down 12.5% |

Colorado skier numbers down 12.5%

Aspen Times Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” Visits to Colorado ski resorts were down 12.5 percent during the opening 11 weeks of the winter season, Colorado Ski Country USA announced Thursday.

The trade group’s 26 member resorts saw an estimated 2.8 million skiers and snowboarders during the first period of the 2007-08 winter, from Oct. 10 through Dec. 31, down roughly 12.5 percent from last year’s record-setting first period. This winter’s numbers are more in line with a typical ski season, the organization said.

Poor snowfall totals in November, coupled with a Thanksgiving holiday that fell a week earlier than usual, get some of the blame for the drop in numbers, said Colorado Ski Country.

Many of the state’s resorts typically open at Thanksgiving, but the earlier opening came when the snow was still lacking and a number of Colorado resorts were forced to push back their openings.

December brought bountiful snow ” breaking records at some resorts ” but hampering travel for skiers hoping to reach the slopes.

“Not every year can be a record-breaking year, and while we are comfortable with where we are today, we are confident that Colorado will continue on its steady pace as ski industry leader,” said Rob Perlman, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, in a press release. “January visits are proving to be strong, telling us that folks are traveling in 2008, which is great since Colorado still has the majority of winter left.”

Skier visits are used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating on the slopes for any part of one day at a resort.

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