Rockies set ski record amid U.S. slump
Aspen, CO Colorado
LAKEWOOD, Colo. ” Ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains had more visitors than ever last season while mountains throughout the nation suffered from warm weather and low snowfall.
Preliminary estimates show a 6.9 percent drop in visits to the nation’s ski resorts from last year’s record number, despite record-setting visits in the Rocky Mountain region, the National Ski Areas Association said Monday.
The estimated 54.8 million visits for the 2006-07 season fell below not only the record of 58.9 million skier visits last year but also the average of 55.5 million visits over the last 10 seasons.
One bright spot was the Rocky Mountain region, which appeared to have set a record of 20.9 million visits, up from last year’s record 20.7 million, the association said.
The association did not release figures for Colorado, the nation’s No. 1 state. Last year it set a record with 12.53 million visits and resorts hoped to match or break that number this year. Colorado results will be announced June 14 at the annual meeting of Colorado Ski Country USA.
While the Rocky Mountain saw plenty of blizzards, other parts of the country had a warm winter with below-average snowfall.
The Southeast and Pacific West each reported visitation declines of about 16.5 percent, the association said. Strong spring snowfall helped the Northeast and Midwest, but the Northeast still reported an overall decline of 6.7 percent and the Midwest a decline of 5.9 percent.
A final report is expected in August.
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