Summer business in resort towns is growing at a faster rate than winter, revealing both a recovering economy and a shift in resort tourism.While Colorado's High Country will always rely heavily on skiers, mountain towns are seeing more summer vacationers in a trend that promises swifter growth than downhill skiing - especially if weak snowfall continues in the High Country."This is a very big deal for us," said Michael Martelon, chief of the Telluride Tourism Board, which last summer achieved a longtime goal with summer spending in the box canyon eclipsing winter for the first time ever. Telluride's taxable sales activity set monthly records in July, August and September.Martelon said the towns of Telluride, Mountain Village and Montrose worked together to boost regional tourism, expanding Telluride's festivals and reaching out to visitors who tend to visit the area regularly."I call it microtargeting," he said. "We are talking to people who we know love Telluride, and getting them to come more often is getting us to a place where we are actually able to grow our base."Telluride joins Winter Park, Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Crested Butte in posting strong summers this year, with most of those communities surpassing the pre-recession glory days of 2007. In all seven resort communities, spending from June through September is growing much faster than winter spending.While last winter's weak snowfall could have pinched spending as fewer vacationers gathered for ski holidays, ski-town winter spending increased in six of the seven resort communities even though visitation plummeted 10 percent, the steepest drop in decades.To read this article in its entirety, go to http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_22102925/summer-spending-growing-faster-than-winter-colorado-resort?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com
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