Association: Colorado ski resorts staying busy

Colorado ski resorts continue to report increased business this season, according to the latest numbers from a trade association.

Colorado Ski Country USA reported that visits to its 21 member resorts were up 3.8 percent for January and February compared to the same two-month span last year.

With those gains, skier visits so far during the 2015-2016 season were up 6.2 percent compared to the same point last year.

One skier visit represents a person participating in skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day.

“We’re very pleased with the way the season is shaping up,” said Melanie Mills, president and chief executive officer of Colorado Ski Country USA. “While we would’ve liked to have seen more significant storms come through Colorado in January and February, the weather pattern was not unexpected given that this is an El Nino year. Resorts received enough snow to hold up their fantastic early season conditions and guests have been enjoying the sunny days and mild temperatures just the same.”

Spring remains a popular time, and Colorado ski resorts are welcoming spring break visitors from around the word, Mills said. “There are about two months left in the season and snow is in the forecast for this week. We’re optimistic that this season’s positive momentum will continue and skiers and snowboarders will take advantage of the spring conditions, the Colorado sunshine and the outstanding hospitality for which our resorts are known.”

Final season visitation numbers will be announced at Colorado Ski Country USA annual meeting scheduled for June.

The 21 resorts in the association, including Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction, reported a total of 7.1 million skier visits during the 2014-2015 season. That’s about a half of a percent less than the record-breaking total for the previous season, but 6.5 percent more than the latest five-year average.