Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today that skier visits at its 23-member resorts were down 13 percent compared to the first period of the 2016-17 season. The first period skier visits cover Opening Day October 13, 2017 through December 31, 2017. Ski areas across the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, experienced prolonged warm weather patterns in November and December that contributed to reduced natural snowfall statewide.
“There was a promising start to the season in October when most ski areas received double digit snowfall and Colorado opened for the season ahead of last year,” said Melanie Mills, Colorado Ski Country USA President & CEO. “Unfortunately, the weather stopped cooperating and the warm temperatures in November and December kept many skiers and riders from visiting the high-country.”
Snowmaking crews worked tirelessly to make snow and open as much terrain as possible in November and December. January snowfall, including double digit snowfall across the state in the past 48-72 hours and before the busy MLK weekend, has allowed resorts to open additional. With weather forecasts calling for a shift in the weather pattern and snow through January, Colorado’s historically snowiest months are still ahead.
“There is still plenty of ski season ahead of us including the traditionally snowy months of February and March,” Mills continued. “We know skiers and riders are ready to enjoy powder days and additional terrain and our resorts are ready to meet that pent-up demand.”
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.