Another record winter for visitor spending, sales taxes in Colorado ski towns |

Another record winter for visitor spending, sales taxes in Colorado ski towns

Shoppers and pedestrians walk the Hyman Mall.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times file photo

Not only did a record number of visitors pack Colorado ski areas last winter, but the spendthrift skiing masses left mountain towns awash in record tax revenue.

The past three Colorado ski seasons have hit all-time highs. The ski areas are making more money than ever — as evidenced by record-setting revenue-based annual rent payments to their Forest Service landlords. The sheer number of visitors is growing, reaching a record 13 million in 2015-16.

And sales tax reports show those visitors are leaving more cash in their wake than ever before. Right around 2012-13, ski towns started seeing sales tax harvests inch back to pre-recession levels, with some towns even besting previous highs set in the banner 2007-08 ski season.

The Great Recession pinched visitor spending and most ski towns saw sales tax revenues plummet in 2008-09 as the economy withered.

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