Record year for Colorado ski resorts

9th July 2014, by Abi Butcher

The number of skiers and snowboarders visiting Colorado jumped by 10 per cent last season

The number of skiers and snowboarders visiting Colorado jumped by 10 per cent last season

Record snow conditions in the Rockies resulted in a similar record ski season in Colorado — with the state’s 25 ski areas logging 12.6 million visits over the 2013/14 season, a 10 per cent jump from 2012/2013.

“With two consecutive years of growth, momentum is certainly in our favour as resorts continue to set the industry standard,” said Melanie Mills, president of Colorado Ski County USA.

Utah also closed the season with an increase in the number of skiers and snowboarders visiting its resorts — with 4.16 million in 2013/14 compared to 4.06 million in 2012/13, representing a 3.6 per cent jump.

Although the two states report an increase, US ski resorts as whole hosted 56.2 million skiers and snowboarders during the 2013-14 ski season, down by 1.3 per cent from the previous season.

Despite this, the figures released by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), are being hailed as something of a success following a season of “weather challenges”.

“With the drought and a rough start to the season in the far west, an abundance of cold and snow in the east and mid-west, and near-perfect conditions in many parts of the Rocky Mountains, it’s hard to imagine a more complicated weather pattern over the course of one season,” said Michael Berry, president of the NSAA which is the trade association for ski area owners and operators.

With the pound currently at a five-year-high against the US dollar (£1 is about USD$1.7), now might be the time to consider a ski trip to North America.

Michael Bennett, managing director of Ski Independence said: “Skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of some great value deals if they book early. North America is looking particularly good with a 17% and 15% rise in the value of the pound against the Canadian and US dollar respectively. As only flights are paid for in GBP by UK tour operators, all additional elements of North American ski packages are contracted in the local currency, and this means there will be considerable savings on expenses such as hotels, lift tickets, ski or board hire and tuition. An added bonus is the pound in your pocket will go much further when you get to resort; breakfast, lunch, dinner, après-ski drinks, spa treatments and even ski clothing and equipment will be much better value than before.”

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