Colorado skier numbers up so far |

Colorado skier numbers up so far

Steve Benson

Skier visits across the state through Dec. 31 were up 8.10 percent compared to the same period last year, Colorado Ski Country USA announced today.

Destination resorts, which include areas like Aspen/Snowmass, Telluride, Crested Butte and Steamboat, posted a 4.27 percent gain.

That figure probably would have been higher if it weren’t for Aspen/Snowmass, which posted about a 10 percent drop through roughly the same period, compared to last season.

David Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co., put some of the blame for the decrease on December’s dry spell.

“Basically, it didn’t snow for most of December,” Perry told The Aspen Times in early January. “What happens then is the locals don’t ski as much.”

But Perry was optimistic the resort would recover and skier visits would climb by the end of the season.

“I think we’ll comfortably surpass last year’s numbers,” he said.

Skier visits at Front Range resorts, which include Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Vail and Winter Park, were up 6.34 percent.

Smaller areas like Arapahoe Basin, Eldora, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, SolVista and Sunlight ” considered Front Range/Gems ” posted the greatest gains with an increase of 26.56 percent over last year.

A skier visit is a skier or snowboarder spending a full day or partial day on the slopes. Skier visits at Aspen/Snowmass last season were up 1 percent compared to 2002-03, but statewide, skier numbers were down 3.39 percent last season.

Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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