Ski resorts across the country are pinching investment budgets as they recover from the worst ski season in 20 years.
With resort real estate withering and resorts directing more investment toward summer amenities, the 2012-13 ski season marks the smallest capital investments in more than a decade.
Ski areas will invest a projected $189 million in capital improvements this season, down from $300 million last season and $474 million in 2006-07, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
Colorado resorts - minus Vail Resorts' Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone - are pumping $30.5 million into new lifts, restaurants, rental gear and snowmaking systems, Colorado Ski Country USA said.
Vail Resorts is planning $85 million to $95 million at its seven ski resorts, including three California ski areas. The company invested $96 million last season, $50 million in 2010-11 and $112 million in 2009-10.
"It's the responsibility of resort operators to cut back because (the earnings measure) EBITDA is down this year, so they are tightening their belts," said Dave Belin, a senior director at Boulder's RRC Associates, which surveys and compiles reports for the NSAA and Colorado Ski Country.
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