Snowy Ski Season Boosts Colorado Tourism

Loveland Ski Area/Dustin Schaefer
Loveland Ski Area/Dustin Schaefer

The continued good weather at Colorado ski resorts is boosting visitation for the 2013/14 ski season, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSUSA) reports. 

Skier visits at the 21 member CSCUSA resorts were up by 22 percent during the first period of the 2013/14 season, defined this year as opening day of the season (October 13, 2013) through December 31, 2013, compared to the same period of the prior year. Significantly, this season’s first period skier visits also exceeded the five-year first period average by approximately 6.7 percent.

“Riding momentum from last spring and buoyed by early season snow this fall, the season got off to a very positive start,” commented Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “While we’ve set a brisk pace there is still a lot of ski season left. With such wonderful conditions we’re optimistic that the momentum will continue.”

RELATED: Snow Report: Good Snow Continues in Western U.S. Ski Resorts (VIDEO)

Early season snow across much of the state allowed several resorts to open early and open more terrain and lifts than is typically available in the beginning of the season. The heavy snow helped get the word out about ski conditions in Colorado and drove visitation around the holidays.

Occupancy at Colorado mountain resort lodging properties likewise got a boost. CSCUSA, in partnership with DestiMetrics, reported certain Colorado lodging figures for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season. Occupancy at Colorado resort lodging properties increased 11.6 percent during the October through December period of the 2013/14 ski season compared to the same time last season. Additionally, the booking pace for January and February 2014 was ahead of last year’s pace by 1.8 percent for the same time period, as of December 31, 2013.

“Excitement surrounding the early snow, combined with positive economic news, has prompted strong early season bookings in Colorado,” said Ralf Garrison, DestiMetrics’ director. “A favorable holiday experience along with forthcoming Olympic coverage could help sustain positive momentum.”

The good news comes as Colorado heads into National Learn a Snow Sport Month. Eileen Ogintz of Taking The Kids has a round-up of top family-friendly deals in the state:

RELATED: Taking The Kids During Learn a Snow Sport Month

January is also National Ski Safety Month in Colorado, CSCUSA reports. The Your Responsibility Code, a collection of seven principles that collectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette and safe skiing practices, is available from CSCUSA here