January tourism returns to normal numbers

The floor of the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond stretch out below as seen from the top of the Snowmass Ski Area earlier this winter.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

January’s occupancy report shows a successful month for Aspen Snowmass with events on the horizon sure to bring in more guests.

“January was back to what we used to know January as,” Aspen Skiing Co. Vice President of Communications Jeff Hanle said.

According to the February 2023 Occupancy Report and Executive Summary, which is a collaboration among Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Chamber Resort Association, and Snowmass Tourism, January began the month up 8.6% from last year and ended up 9.6% ahead.


International visitation, led by Australia and Brazil, returned just as Skico hoped early in the season. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Gay Ski Week, and X Games all contributed to the surge in tourism in January, according to the report.

“All of these markets returning offered a far more normal January than we’ve seen the last few years.  Mother Nature kept sending the pow, and guests were happy with all the free refills they enjoyed throughout the month,” the report reads.

Aspen was at 77.5% occupancy for the month, up 11.2% from last year. Snowmass was at 72.8% occupancy, up 8.2% from last year.


According to the report, February was pacing up for a few months but is now down 3.5%. Aspen began February with 73% occupancy, while Snowmass was at 72.9%.

Winter occupancy as a whole, which spans November through April, is sitting at 53.6% occupancy, down 3.2% from last year. January and April are the only months exceeding last year’s pace, the report states.

There are still busy days to come for Aspen Snowmass. President’s Weekend, World Cup, and spring break weeks are right around the corner.

“It’s good to see the snow still falling. President’s Weekend looks to be very busy,” said Hanle. “I think we’ll have the steady season for the rest of the season.”

Skico also announced extended hours for all four mountains beginning Feb. 18, though Daylight Savings Time does not begin until March 12.

On Aspen Mountain, Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express, and FIS will be open until 4 p.m.

At Aspen Highlands, Exhibition will be open until 4 p.m., and Loge will be open until 3:30 p.m. Summit Express at Buttermilk will be open until 4 p.m.

And at Snowmass, Elk Camp Gondola and Big Burn will be open until 4 p.m. Snowmass Village Express will be open until 4 p.m. at the summit and 4:15 p.m. at the mid-station.