Data show increased traffic during holidays |

Data show increased traffic during holidays

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun

Data suggest that more people were skiing and snowboarding at Snowmass ski area right before New Year’s Day than last year.

The Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain was closed due to mechanical reasons from Dec. 30 through Jan. 1, and Aspen Skiing Co. officials said skier visits were up at its other three ski areas during that period. Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle declined to say exactly how many people were riding at any given mountain each day, but he did say that about 20,000 skiers and snowboarders rode the lifts each day leading up to Jan. 1.

Parking and bus numbers in Snowmass Village show an increase of traffic during the gondola closure. There were 4.2 percent more bus passengers on Dec. 30 compared with Dec. 31, 2012, both of which were Mondays, according to the Transportation Department.

Bus ridership was up 29.6 percent on Dec. 31over Jan. 1, 2013, and up 17.6 percent on New Year’s Day over Jan. 2, 2013.

However, ridership saw its highest increase on the day the Aspen gondola started running again, rising 29.9 percent on Jan. 2.

“It is difficult to determine if increases are due to the gondola closure or whether we are experiencing a better season in general,” said Kelly Vaughn, communications director for the town.

Vaughn said Snowmass Village police didn’t notice a big jump in vehicular traffic or stops, at least not more than is usual for the traditionally busy Christmas to New Year’s period.