Trade group: Ski business up for January and February

Colorado ski resorts reported increased business during January and February, according to the latest numbers from a trade association.

Colorado Ski Country USA reported that skier visits to its 22 member resorts edged up 1 percent for January and February compared to the same two-month span last year. One skier visit represents a person participating in skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day.

“After a warm fall, which kept many guests out of the high country, the snowstorms in late December and early January created great skiing conditions across Colorado,” said Melanie Mills, president and chief executive officer of Colorado Ski Country USA. “Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day weekends were some of the busiest of the year, driving visitation numbers up for the period.”

Skier visits so far for the latest ski seasons lag 2 percent behind the numbers for last year’s record-setting season, but remain 8 percent ahead of the five-year average.

Spring remains a popular time, and Colorado ski resorts are welcoming spring break visitors from around the word, Mills said.

“We still have a lot of ski season left, with Colorado’s snowpack at 125 percent of average. March and April are typically our snowiest months and also have lots of sunshine and warm bluebird days. So we’re hopeful visitors will continue to enjoy Colorado Ski Country’s resorts deep into the spring,” she said.

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

The 22 resorts in the association, including Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction, reported a record total of 7.4 million skier visits during the 2015-2016 season.