The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Ja­son Blevins

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.

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