Early season skier visits set new record | SummitDaily.com

Early season skier visits set new record

SUMMIT COUNTY – This winter probably feels like the best ski season in recent history to skiers and snowboarders, and now there are some numbers to back up those thoughts.Colorado Ski Country USA’s 25 resorts set a new record for skier visits during the first portion of the season.The resorts together hosted more than three million skiers from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31, 2005. That number is up 5.6 percent compared with the same time period in 2004 and 10.9 percent ahead of the state’s five-year first period average.”Although we have the majority of the season ahead of us, early reports indicate the first 10 days of January have been strong keeping Colorado on pace for a record year,” said Ski Country USA president and CEO Rob Perlman.Leading the charge is the Front Range Destination Resorts category, which includes Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain, as well as Beaver Creek, Vail and Winter Park. Arapahoe Basin falls into the Gems/Front Range Resorts classification.The Front Range Destination Resorts have seen 416,365 skiers and snowboarders so far this season, which is a jump of more than 10 percent from last year.Perlman attributed the success to record early season snowfall, as well as the resorts and Ski Country USA implementing and building on programs and strategies that have drawn visitors in the past.For instance, one strategy is to promote Colorado resorts in the markets where there has been proven success.”We’re not going out there to countries that don’t have a lot of skiers and riders, we’re not going to states that don’t have a lot of skiers and riders, we’re staying focused on our core market,” he said.Perlman also credited Summit County’s resorts for promoting themselves with events such as the Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Search in Keystone and the NBC “Three Wishes” television show that taped in Breckenridge in November.”There’s a lot of excitement going on in Summit County in particular,” Perlman said.The weather has added plenty to the enthusiasm.December was the fourth snowiest early season in Breckenridge since the late 1800s, when records were first kept. Also, precipitation has been above average every month since September, and more than 150 inches of snow has fallen since October.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 13625, or at nformosa@summitdaily.com

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