Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) has announced that while total skier visits at its 22 member resorts were down single digits compared to last year’s first period visit numbers, they are up 3 percent over the five-year average. The first period skier visits cover Opening Day October 21, 2016 through December 31, 2016.
The numbers are strong considering the unseasonably warm fall that contributed to a drier than expected start to the season delaying some ski area openings, CSCUSA said. Last season’s first period numbers, which this season is compared to, benefited from extraordinary Godzilla El Nino early season snow conditions.
Despite the late start, Mother Nature arrived in force in December, dropping abundant snowfall throughout the end of 2016 and into the beginning of 2017, allowing ski areas to open significant terrain and guests to enjoy deep snow totals and excellent conditions during the busy holiday season, CSCUSA said. Several ski areas experienced all-time single day records during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The continued snowfall, which has the statewide snowpack at 54 percent above average, and a busy event calendar across the state is creating excitement for the rest of the 2016-17 season. Highlights include: Learn to Ski and Ride Month and National Safety Month throughout the rest of January, the return of the Winter Park Express, which runs Saturdays, Sundays and Presidents Day through March, and the FIS World Cup Finals at Aspen Snowmass March 15-19.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort.
CSCUSA represents 22 ski and snowboard resorts in Colorado.