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Colorado Gems visits increase

DENVER – A record number of skiers visited the Colorado Gems, a grouping of several of the state’s smaller ski resorts, in 2002-2003, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.

The seven resorts – Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, SolVista and Sunlight – posted a 22.6 percent increase in visits over the 2001-02 season and saw a collective 1,009,463 skiers, a CSCUSA statement said. That accounted for 8.7 percent of the statewide total.

The increase demonstrates the Gems’ surge in popularity as Front Range skiers and riders seek alternative mountain experiences. The increase in skier visits may also be credited to the affordability and unique charm of the Gem resorts.



“As market factors reduce discretionary income, the affordability, convenience and back-to-basics appeal of the Gems is attracting more skiers and riders,” said Kevin Wright, marketing director for Loveland.

In addition, a CSCUSA promotion called the Gems Card may have contributed to the increase in visits. The Gems Card provides discounts up to $10 on adult lift tickets and $5 off child and senior lift tickets at Gems ski areas and gives skiers the opportunity to win a CSCUSA Gold Pass, which is good at all participating Colorado resorts.



Skier Craig Korn won the pass last year when he was awarded the Gems Card grand prize. Korn also received two United Airlines tickets and a year’s supply of Pepsi.

Colorado Gems skier visits

Cumulative

1997-1998 1,008,024

1998-1999 924,117

1999-2000 875,729

2000-2001 747,241

2001-2002 781,237

2002-2003 1,009,463

State Total

1997-1998 11,979,719

1998-1999 11,366,365

1999-2000 10,891,318

2000-2001 9,708,971

2001-2002 11,128,131

2002-2003 11,605,588

Percent of State Total

1997-1998 8.41%

1998-1999 8.13%

1999-2000 8.04%

2000-2001 7.70%

2001-2002 7.02%

2002-2003 8.7%


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