Van Gorder: Protect Colorado winters from climate change |

Van Gorder: Protect Colorado winters from climate change

Protect winter from climate change

Summit County businesses and ski resorts were fortunate this last ski season. Strong snowfall in the Rockies and drought around the country steered record numbers of skiers to our shops and slopes. Many Colorado mountain communities, including Breckenridge, posted record sales-tax revenue for this past ski season.

So rejoice for now, but know that our time will come if we do not act. Climate change is here and is devastating the snow that brings visitors to winter communities, which could one day destroy the economy of our mountain communities. Of all the U.S. states with winter tourism economies, Colorado has the most to lose with inconsistent winters, with almost 40,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in salaries at stake.

In fact, much of the increase in ski visits we enjoyed last season was due to the double-digit percentage increase in Californians escaping their drought-ravaged state for Colorado ski slopes.

I'd encourage local businesses to join me in supporting Protect Our Winters' most recent initiative, which unites Colorado winter sports enthusiasts, local businesses, resorts and community leaders to protect our winter tourism industry from the effects of climate change.

For years Protect Our Winters (POW) has been the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united together towards a common goal of reducing climate change's effects on our sport and mountain economies. You can get more information at

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With so much at stake economically to our community, it only makes sense for the people and businesses of Summit County to step up and lead the fight against climate change.

Drew Van Gorder


Owner, Slope Style Ski Shop

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