Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced on Monday that its 21 member resorts reported an increase in skier visitation for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season. Skier visits at 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 & 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.”
A deluge of 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 got a boost from early season skiers. 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,” commented Ralf Garrison, DestiMetrics’ director. “A favorable holiday experience along with forthcoming Olympic coverage could help sustain positive momentum.”
With popular ski weekends in the months ahead, and skiers and snowboarders taking advantage of the snowy conditions CSCUSA resorts have to offer, it is important that visitors remember to practice safe behavior while on the slopes. January is National Ski Safety Month in Colorado and skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to know and follow Your Responsibility Code; widely regarded as the key to skier and snowboarder safety on the slopes. Simply referred to as The Code, it is comprised of seven principles that collectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette and safe skiing practices. More information about how resorts are recognizing ski safety month and The Code can be found at http://blog.coloradoski.com/2014/01/07/colorado-ski-country-resorts-promote-slopewise-skiing-and-riding-for-national-safety-month/.
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.