1.21.15 Skier Visits_Winter Park_Carl-FreyTotal skier visits at the 21 member resorts of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) were approximately 1 percent off last year’s pace during the first period of the 2014/15 ski season, Oct. 17-Dec. 31, compared to the same period last year.

Last season’s first period skier visits were more than 20 percent up over the preceding season’s first period. Additionally, 2014/15 first period skier visits, like last season’s first period skier visits, exceeded the five-year first period average, this year by nearly four percent.

Visitation numbers speak volumes to the strength of the CSCUSA brand and dedication of Colorado skiers despite a few resorts that opened late and a few days of very cold temperatures during the popular holiday period.

“Many in-state skiers didn’t head to the slopes at the beginning of the season, a time when most visitation is our Colorado based skiers and riders,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of CSCUSA. “It wasn’t until mid-December that Colorado saw significant snowfall that arrived in abundance and in time for resort guests from out-of-state, as well as in-state, to enjoy wintery holidays.”

Holiday period visitation was strong with good snow conditions and resorts reporting increased spending across ancillary businesses. “Guests turned out in good numbers to enjoy resorts during the holidays, and on colder days they took advantage of warm drinks by a cozy fireplace in the lodge,” said Mills. “While snow and weather are key factors in skier visitation, we also account for our resorts excellent guest service and popular holiday activities.”

Momentum from last season and a number of high profile international ski and snowboard events happening in Colorado this winter are keeping optimism and excitement high for the months ahead.

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“Resort calendars are teeming with exciting events and we’re seeing a lot of confidence in the indicators for the season in front of us: strong hotel bookings as we look to spring, a well-timed Easter holiday for ski vacations and Colorado’s traditionally snowier months are still ahead,” said Mills.

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.