SKIER VISITS FLAT; REVENUE CLIMBING IN HIGH COUNTRY
Visits to 22 of Colorado’s 26 ski areas are pacing slightly behind last season’s record-setting performance.
Colorado Ski Country, the trade group that represents 22 Colorado resorts, reported Friday that January and February skier traffic climbed 1 percent above the same period last season, when the state’s resorts posted a record 13 million visits, a whopping 400,000-visit increase over the 2014-15 season. The warm November got the 2016-17 season off to a slow start, so visits for the entire season through February are down 2 percent compared with the same stretch in the 2015-16 season.
The 2016-17 season, which started in Colorado in late October, is pacing 8 percent ahead of the fiveyear average.
While visits may be flat, there are many indications that visitors are spending more. Sales tax revenues in ski destinations are surging beyond last year, when most of those high-country communities saw record visitor spending. Denver’s DestiMetrics, which tracks lodging in 19 Western mountain resorts, said occupancy in 30,000 rooms across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana is flat compared to last year, but revenue through Feb. 28 is up 7.3 percent.