Resort bookings see holiday boost across the West |

Resort bookings see holiday boost across the West

Thanks to holiday snow, the winter season promises to be lucrative for ski resorts across the Western U.S., according to the latest booking numbers from DestiMetrics.

In a report released on Dec. 15, the Denver-based analytics firm reported that confirmed reservations for the six-month winter season (November through April) are up 9.7 percent over the same period last year. Estimated revenue for the winter season also jumped by nearly 16 percent.

The data is compiled from reservation numbers provided by 19 resort properties in six Western states, including California, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado.

Resorts in the Rocky Mountain region are leading the charge, spurred in part by hefty snowstorms early this winter and late last spring. Reservations for properties in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are up 10.5 percent over the same period last season, while revenues have spiked by 17.7 percent.

“Good early-season snow in most regions, combined with positive ‘snow equity’ lingering from last year, is helping to drive year-over-year occupancy and revenues up appreciably for the current season,” DestiMetrics director Ralf Garrison said in a written statement. “This sets the stage for both a happy holiday and a great New Year from a business economics standpoint.”

And the stage is set. If bookings stay on track over the next month, Garrison predicts that the majority of resort properties will match last season’s numbers by the end of January.

Local real estate team gets spotlight with ‘Shark Tank’ guru

Beginning in January, tune into “Shark Tank” for a glimpse of Summit County real estate on the national stage.

The newest season of ABC’s popular pitch show is paired with a TV commercial featuring the Smits Team, a local real estate duo of Amy and Kevin Smits. The two appear with real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran in commercials beginning this winter. Along with “Shark Tank,” the commercials will also air during several programs on CNBC and local affiliate television stations.

Known as the resident real estate mogul on “Shark Tank,” Corcoran is a self-made multimillionaire and entrepreneurial advocate. She is now endorsing a handful of the best real estate minds in the country, including the Smits Team.

By generating more than 400 qualified leads per month and selling twice as many properties as their closest competitor, the Smits Team has become one of the top real estate performers in Summit. Last year, the team sold more than 140 homes and is on track to surpass that number for 2014.

Along with the Corcoran endorsement, the National Association of Expert Advisors has named the Smits Team one of the top 500 real estate marketers in the nation.

Peak Yoga welcomes yogis to brand-new Dillon studio

Yogis, rejoice: Peak Yoga Studio has a new space, just in time to make the most of a New Year’s resolution.

Peak Yoga Studio opened in October with daily classes, all held in a studio that’s heated — not blazing hot — with gorgeous sunset views of Red and Buffalo mountains. The studio’s instructors are trained in vinyasa flow, ashtanga yoga and power yoga, but all classes are in the vinyasa tradition. The instructors have taught in Summit County or beyond — including studio owner Pinna Gallant, who leads the après ski yoga on select weekend afternoons.

Along with après ski, the studio schedule features several other unorthodox classes this winter.

Yoga Playground is true to its name with inversions, handstands and headstands — the kind of poses most classes either gloss over or skip altogether.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Yoga 101, a free class for beginning yogis. Instructors slowly go through simple poses in a workshop format, during which participants can ask questions without halting the flow of a full class.

“It’s a great way for people to get familiar with yoga before they move into a traditional flow,” Gallant said. “It’s an easy, welcoming environment for people to learn anything they want to learn. You don’t always find that in the yoga community.”

The studio is open seven days a week, including New Year’s Day. There are no classes on Christmas Day. The drop-in rate is $16 per person. An unlimited monthlong pass costs $99, a five-visit pass is $70 and a 10-visit pass is $130. Between now and Jan. 31, new participants can get 15 consecutive days for $20.

For more information, including a full schedule, see

Silverthorne opens town parks to sledding, ice-skating and Nordic skiing

When the fun is free in Silverthorne, why wage a war with holiday lift lines?

Early this week, the town of Silverthorne welcomed the season in style with grand openings for three family-friendly activities: sledding at Rainbow Park, ice skating at North Pond and Nordic skiing from the clubhouse at the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks.

The Rainbow Park sledding hill has variety of pitches and heights for all ages.

It also wraps around the nearby multipurpose field, perfect for building a snowman or challenging friends to a snowball fight. The nearby Silverthorne Recreation Center has public restrooms, a warm lobby and a snack bar. The Summit Stage picks up in front of the rec center.

North Pond Park, directly across from Silverthorne Elementary School on Highway 9, is a pitch-perfect stop for skaters and hockey players. It’s home to the largest natural pond for skating in Summit County. It also has a warming hut, restrooms and free parking. A Summit Stage bus stop is available at the site.

The Raven clubhouse welcomes the season with two trails for skiers and snowshoers.

The north course offers challenging terrain with plenty of elevation changes, while the flatter, mellower south course is designed for beginners.

Admission is free and includes parking at the clubhouse. The courses are maintained for skiing and snowshoeing only; pets are not allowed.

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