Record year for skier visits in Colorado
Colorado Ski Country USA announced Thursday at its 60th annual meeting that skier visits at its 21 member ski resorts increased nearly 8% over last year’s total.
Using publicly-available information, Ski County is projecting a new statewide record for skier visits of 14.8 million. The previous record for visits was set last year when the statewide total was 13.8 million. The 2022-23 projected statewide total exceeds the five-year average for skier visits in Colorado by 18%.
“The 2022-23 ski season was buoyed by cold temperatures and consistent, abundant snowfall across the state — from the first days of the season in October to closing day on June 4,” said Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills. “We are today celebrating a significant new industry benchmark for visitation, meaningful growth in our business, and the positive economic impact that this success has for our employees, our communities, our partners, and our state.”
All regions of Colorado received significant snowfall throughout the season, with CSCUSA members averaging 286 inches of snowfall this year, up from the long-term average of 265 inches. The 2022-23 snowfall contributed to a season 21 days longer than the long-term average season. The state as a whole experienced above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures this winter.
The season was marked by resort investment in new chairlifts and gondolas across the state, celebrations of resort anniversaries, new sustainability-focused facilities, new teaching terrain, as well as renewed attention to employee housing and higher pay for ski area employees.
The industry saw continued strong season-pass sales and usage, a strong economy despite high inflation, continued recovery in international visits, strong flight offerings into Denver International Airport and mountain airports, and a favorably-timed Easter holiday. Colorado ski areas continued their advocacy for clean energy and climate action in Washington, D.C., and in Colorado.
“Approximately 23% of U.S. skier visits took place in Colorado this year, and this was not happenstance,” Mills said. “Our member ski areas are fiercely dedicated to the guest experience, as well as to the employee experience at their resorts. Best-in-class infrastructure, facilities, employees, and ski towns welcome guests from around Colorado, the United States, and the world. There’s a mountain for everyone in Colorado, and our ski areas love to welcome one and all to our slopes.”
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents one person participating in the sport of skiing and snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort. These numbers are preliminary and subject to final adjustment.