Colorado skiers have increased this year
DENVER – With roughly one-third of the 2004-05 winter season remaining, skier visits at Colorado ski resorts have increased for the second year in a row, according to Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade organization. Total skier visits are up 2.31 percent, or 178,240 visits, year-to-date over the 2003-04 season. The state’s skier visits are also up approximately 2.13 percent over the same period in 2002-03, Colorado Ski Country said Thursday. A “skier visit” represents a skier or snowboarder who visits a mountain resort for any part of one day.”While we’re cautiously optimistic, this is the second year we’ve seen positive second period results,” ski country chief executive Rob Perlman said. The ‘second period’ is Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. “We’re happy to have maintained our momentum.” he said.Visitors from outside Colorado and outside the United State appear to have increased, Perlman said.
“With an early Easter holiday, all indications are that March will also be solid,” he added. Visit increased by 1.3 percent at “destination resorts,” which are more than two hours from Denver, such as Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Telluride. Visits at “Front Range destination resorts,” which include Vail and Beaver Creek were up 1.6 percent increase year-to-date over prior year. Vail Resorts will not release numbers for its four Colorado reasons until after ski reasons. The largest increase in visitors – 9.6 percent – was at the resorts closest to Denver and the mountains known as the Colorado Gems. So far this season, business from Texas, Florida and Arizona has been strong, while beefed up advertising campaigns and a favorable currency situation have boosted international business, Perlman said.
“Over the past several years, we have increased our marketing efforts in both the U.K. and Australia and we’re starting to reap the rewards,” Perlman said. “A winter vacation to Colorado is now more affordable than ever for our international guests.”Skiers at Colorado’s resorts spend $2 billion to $2.5 billion annually, Perlman said.