Visits down nationally | AspenTimes.com

Visits down nationally

- Brent Gardner-Smith

The ski season across Colorado and the United States is a mixed bag of results.

In general, resorts in Colorado fared better than they expected.

“It could have been much worse,” said David Perry, president of Colorado Ski Country USA. “People were concerned about drops as much as 20 percent, and that didn’t happen. But the only places that are talking about an increase are those with a drive market.”

Ski Country will release statewide skier visit numbers in June, as Copper Mountain and Breckenridge are scheduled to remain open until Sunday, Keystone until April 28 and Arapahoe Basin until sometime in June.

Across the nation, all resorts shared the same slow start in the wake of Sept. 11.

Resorts in the Northeast suffered from a lack of snow and warm temperatures, while those in the mid-Atlantic region had cold temperatures but not enough water to make snow.

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The Pacific Northwest got tons of snow and saw a big jump in visits, while California was mixed, with a short season in Southern California and a so-so season for Lake Tahoe resorts.

And in Utah, the Olympics scared off lots of skiers who are expected to come back next season.

“It was a challenging year,” said Tim White, director of education for the National Ski Areas Association, which represents 330 ski areas. “We’ll be a few percentage points off an average year. It won’t be a record year like last year.”