DENVER, CO – March 12, 2009 – Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today that skier visits at its 22 member resorts during the second period of the 2008-09 ski season, which counts skier visitation from January 1 through February 28, were off by 5.8 percent compared to last year’s same period number. However, visitation is up slightly compared to the five year average for second period visitation, which includes three years that were the highest on record.
For the 2008-09 season to date, visitation at CSCUSA resorts is down 5.9 percent compared to the same time last season, but looking at the average season to date for the past five years, visitation at CSCUSA resorts is down less than four percent.
Visitation numbers reported by CSCUSA resorts represent a clear fact amid the current uncertainty felt by the tourism industry: guests have not given up on skiing and riding in Colorado, and Colorado resorts continue to offer a top-notch product. “Visitation so far this season speaks to Colorado’s worldwide reputation as the best place to ski,” explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “It reflects well on our member resorts and the high quality experiences guests have here on our slopes. Skiing is falling on the ‘necessity’ side of the ledger for most participants, who may be economizing in many areas of their lives but not when it comes to ski days.”
Skier visits for the first part of 2009 have held steady since the beginning of the season and reflect a sound and stable ski industry in Colorado. “The fact that resort visits are down only slightly from last year reaffirms the historic resilience of those who ski here in Colorado,” continues Mills. “Guests are taking advantage of the benefits that skiing and riding in Colorado offer, such as getting outside and being active with friends and family, enjoying the signature Colorado snow, and finding terrific deals.”
As the ski season heads into spring, CSCUSA resorts are inviting guests to take advantage of the bountiful snow conditions, vast menu of resort events and late season offers. A wintery snow storm swept through Ski Country earlier this week leaving snowfall amounts up to 20 inches at some resorts. Great snow and sunny bluebird skies are typical spring conditions in Colorado that make the perfect backdrop for concerts, races and other fun spring events.
Final season visitation numbers will be announced at CSCUSA’s 46th Annual Meeting in June. 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.