Denver, CO – With above normal snowfall throughout this winter, it should come as no surprise that the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) has announced that its 21 member resorts reported an increase in skier visitation in January and February. Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by 8.6 percent during the second period of the 2013-14 season, defined as January 1, 2014 through February 28, 2014, compared to the same period of the prior year.
“Following a strong start to the season, momentum carried through the first of the year as skiers and riders took advantage of our snowy conditions here in Colorado,” explained Melanie Mills, president and CEO, Colorado Ski Country USA. “In January and February, encouraged by consistent and wide spread snow storms, visitors took to the resorts and popular ski weekends during second period, such as Martin Luther King and President’s Day, were bustling with guests.”
The second period’s boost in visitation continued to keep the industry ahead in season-to-date skier totals compared to the same point in time last year. For the 2013-14 season from opening day through February 28, 2014, visitation at CSCUSA resorts was up by 13 percent compared to the same time last season.
“Several factors contributed to the season-to-date bump including incredible conditions, consistent snowfall, enjoyable winter temperatures, and positive economic news. Also, an Olympic year always tends to generate excitement around skiing and snowboarding, Colorado’s signature sports,” continued Mills.
The figures do not include four of the state’s busiest resorts — Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone — which are all owned by Vail Resorts, which does not maintain a membership with CSCUSA.
Occupancy at a sample of Colorado mountain resort lodging properties saw a slight boost during mid-season, according to certain Colorado lodging figures provided to CSCUSA in partnership with DestiMetrics. Occupancy at Colorado resort lodging properties increased 2.9 percent during January and February compared to the same time last season.
As Colorado’s ski season turns toward spring and what are typically the state’s two snowiest months, March and April, cautious optimism continues. “Spring break business is encouraging, a late Easter helps to stretch out destination visits into April and we’re hoping the consistent snow storms continue,” said Mills.