Many resorts closing this weekend hopeful of good season numbers
BY ROBERT WELLER
the associated press
April 14, 2007
DENVER - Another Colorado ski season is nearing an end, and resorts are hoping to at least match if not exceed last year's record of 12.53 million skier visits.
"It really has been a good year. April looks good. Even though the snow in Denver kept some skiers at home we are still seeing great numbers," said Molly Cuffe of Colorado Ski Country USA. "If we nail the 12-million mark again we are going to set a new benchmarch for the Colorado ski industry. It will be a big deal if we beat last year."
For those who ventured out, mild temperatures, and sunny skies prevailed.
In its mid-March report, Cuffe's organization said resorts logged 8.5 million skier visits from Oct. 13 through Feb. 28, an increase of 119,271, or 1.4 percent, from the same time last season. The trade group represents Colorado's 26 ski resorts.
Although snow stayed on the ground in Denver for more than a month, dulling the appetite of some area skiers, destination resorts were up 4.9 percent. They draw out of state and international visitors, and generally pull in more money per skier or snowboarder.
Most resorts got plenty of snow or were able to make it throughout the season. A warming trend melted the snowpack at lower levels but the higher-elevation resorts kept their bases solid.
Closing this weekend were Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Keystone, and Beaver Creek. Also shutting down the lifts Sunday were Copper Mountain, Eldora, Steamboat and Winter Park. Vail and Breckenridge close next weekend.
Wolf Creek will open during the weekend, close during the week, and open again next weekend.
Loveland and Arapahoe Basin will close later. Silverton Mountain will be open weekends through April.
Telluride, Crested Butte, Howelson, Buttermilk, Durango Mountain and Aspen Highlands already closed. Powderhorn, SolVista and Monarch also had closed earlier.