Skier visits at Colorado resorts up this season |

Skier visits at Colorado resorts up this season

DENVER, Colorado – Skier visits at Colorado resorts this winter likely topped 12 million for the first time since the 2007-2008 season, the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA said Wednesday.

Skier visits at Colorado Ski Country’s 22 member resorts were up 2.6 percent from last season, reaching an estimated 6.9 million, the trade group said.

That doesn’t include visits at four resorts run by Vail Resorts Inc., which could release numbers when it reports quarterly financial results today. The company has said visits at its six resorts in California and Colorado were up 3.9 percent from last season, but it hasn’t released exact numbers or details by state. Vail Resorts operates the popular Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge resorts in Colorado.

Colorado Ski Country said that assuming non-member resorts’ visits rose at least 2.6 percent, Colorado resorts would have had nearly 12.2 million skier visits this season.

And the season isn’t over.

Arapahoe Basin, which has benefited from late spring snowstorms, is still open for at least two more weekends.

Colorado Ski Country USA CEO Melanie Mills called the season results “gratifying.”

Colorado resorts enjoyed plenty of early season snow, but in the middle of the season, road closures and wicked cold and snow over the December and January holidays dampened visits, she said.

In an industry that’s all about snow, some northern Colorado resorts said La Nina gave them snowfall well above average this season, but some resorts in southern Colorado fell short.

The National Ski Areas Association said in early May that preliminary survey results showed national skier visits rose 0.6 percent from last season to 60.1 million skier and snowboarder visits this past season, just shy of the 60.5 million visit record set in 2007-2008.

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