As per the Denver Business Journal, visits to Colorado resorts’ downhill ski visits are down again in 2017-18, but thanks to the late snowfalls, the numbers were not as bad as feared.
Colorado Ski Country resorts have received 7.1 million visits to their 24 member resorts, a 2 % drop from the 2016-17 ski season. This was announced on Thuresday at CSCUSA’s annual meeting.
Vail Resorts Inc (NYSE:MTN)- the operator of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone are not part of CSCUSA and have not announced the figures for its resorts, but said before that overall resorts in North America fell 1.9 % from the previous season.
The drop in 2017-18 is similar to the 2.5 % drop the season before, with another bad season in snow precipitation in Colorado, early when season started. The 7.1 million visits this season is still slightly ahead than the five-year average for CSCUSA resorts.
December and January snowfalls were below average, but at least, as CSCUSA’s president and CEO Melanie Mills noted, resorts were saved by snow at crucial times – over the winter holidays, before Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day and during March spring break, and these snowfalls helped offset the powder less periods.
“Timely storms before the busy holiday weekends marked the middle of the season before the snow switch turned fully to on in February,” Mills said. “There was exuberant pent-up demand and skiers and snowboarders flocked to the slopes in the latter half of the season, allowing resorts to finish on a strong note.”
The record season of 2015-16 has seen 7.4 million skiers cramming onto the slopes of CSCUSA members and the Vail Resorts properties. At that time, Mills and other industry leaders were celebrating the ability to draw guests at resorts, even as reports have shown that ski areas were starting to loose support from key demographics, such as mothers who are the ones taking the financial decision on the family trips.
There are no alarm bells on this as of yet, as the two last seasons were poor in snow. Now ski areas are expanding their off-season offers, so their drop of skiers’ numbers have not got that much of an impact in the overall yearly visitors. Ski areas have been working hard installing mountain coasters to mountain-biking trails to take advantage of the off-season.
“We are looking forward to an exciting summer season with events, festivals and increased on-mountain options for guests as well as significant investment across the state before next winter season, including new lifts, a new mountain coaster, new restaurants and other improvements,” Mills added.
A skier visit is defined as one person going skiing or snowboarding at a resort for any part of one day. CSCUSA added two smaller resorts to its member rolls this year — Echo Mountain near Idaho Springs and Kendall Mountain in Silverton.
More information on Denver Business Journal.
We have recently covered how Vail Resorts have bought Crested Butte in Colorado plus three other ski areas, and also how Alterra Mountain Co. is now the other prominent player in Colorado and the USA.
Featured Image: Loveland Ski Area. Colorado Ski Country USA.