Despite a healthy dose of snow in December, skier visits at 21 resorts across Colorado fell 11.5 percent during the first part of the season compared to 2011, according to data collected by Colorado Ski Country USA.
But in Summit
County, business held fairly steady to the prior year between the start of the
ski season and the end of the year, occupancy and sales data for several local
Vail Resorts reported a 2 percent increase in skier visits
through the holiday season, noting a rise in use by season pass holders,
according to a financial earnings statement released earlier this month.
Lift ticket, ski school, dining and retail revenues were all up during
the first part of the season as well, though the numbers are not broken down by
Locally, Vail Resorts owns Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski
Resort, but the financial report also includes data from its Eagle County and
In Breckenridge, short-term lodging occupancy was flat in
November to the year before. It took a slight 3 percent dip in December, but
revenues held steady to 2011 numbers, according to data provided by the
Breckenridge Resort Chamber.
“When we look at Breckenridge, it's the
diversity here,” BRC spokeswoman Rachel Zerowin said. “People come here to do
more than ski.”
Local businesses across the county reported business was
generally good through the holiday season.
“I don't think it's been a
terrible year,” Dillon Dam Brewery manager George Blincoe said. “It's been a
decent year so far.”
For others, the first part of the season was better
than decent. Mary Elaine Moore, owner of Stork and Bear Company and Around the
World Toys, said her customers seemed to be finding ways to make the most of
their visit off the ski slopes when the snow wasn't falling.
numbers are really strong compared to last year,” Moore said. “I think this year
they've figured out that even if there isn't snow, there are things to do up
Industry officials attributed the statewide dip in skier visits
to on-again off-again snowfall, which delayed openings at some resorts.
“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors and an unseasonably
warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days,”
Colorado Ski Country USA president and CEO Melanie Mills stated in a recent
release of the period between opening day and Dec. 31. “Snow did not arrive in
earnest until mid-December, but when it came, it was in time for in-state and
out-of-state guests to enjoy wonderful wintery holidays at resorts.”
Vail Resorts' financial data reflected a similar trend of a lull in
business until the snow began to stack up in December.
“We were very
pleased to see that once more typical conditions arrived at our resorts, we saw
very strong visitation and guest spending,” VR CEO Rob Katz stated in a release
earlier this month.
Breck got 25 inches of snow in December, a number on
par with the 20-year average for the month, according to data from the National
Vail Daily reporter Lauren Glendenning contributed to
the reporting of this story.
Posted for Nancy Yearout, RE/MAX Properties of the Summitnyearout@colorado.net