Beaver Creek sees busy weekend |

Beaver Creek sees busy weekend

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. ” Beaver Creek saw no shortage of skiers this weekend, with more than 11,000 skiers on the mountain at one time on both Saturday and Sunday.

“It was pretty busy,” Hans Herner, a manager at Christy Sports in Beaver Creek, said of Saturday. “One of the busier days we’ve had in a while.”

Herner saw a steady stream of customers Saturday, mostly out-of-staters, with a few from Denver.

The high skier numbers came despite pass restrictions, which blacked out locals and Front Range passholders for the weekend.

Beaver Creek’s “manage to” guidelines is 11,000 skiers at one time. When it exceeds that number, it must tell the Forest Service. The Forest Service imposes the guidelines for both Vail and Beaver Creek, which operate on National Forest land.

Vail Mountain, which has a “manage to” number of 19,900 skiers on the mountain at one time, did not exceed that number over the Christmas week, Dressler said.

The federal agency will review whether Beaver Creek was able to handle the high number of skiers, said Don Dressler of the Forest Service. That includes looking at lift lines, parking, lodge capacities, the number of skier injuries and how efficiently ski patrol was able to help injured skiers.

If Beaver Creek had problems handling the high numbers, it might have to restrict employee passes or complementary passes during future busy days, Dressler said.

Beaver Creek has seen plentiful snowfall for the month of December, recording 90 inches. That’s 35 inches more than the average for the month.

“The snow, for sure, has helped,” Herner said.

More snow, it seems, is on the way. A large storm headed this way is forecast to drop more than a foot of snow in Vail this weekend, said Jerry Smith of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

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