Colorado Visits Hit Record 12.53 Million

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SAM Magazine-Steamboat Springs, Colo., June 19, 2006-Colorado resorts tallied 12.53 million visits in 2005-06, more than 500,000 better than the previous record and more than 700,000 better than the prior year, according to Rob Perlman, president of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) at the organization's annual meeting here.

Perlman noted that regional, national and international visits all rose. He and others attributed the increase to good early snow as well as increased air service into regional airports and Denver International. The weak U.S. dollar also helped boost international travel. Unconfirmed reports suggested that the Gems, Colorado's smaller and day-oriented areas, had the greatest percentage increases, but true destination resort Aspen was up 5.7 percent, indicating strong destination business as well.

During the conference, Vail COO Bill Jensen declared that with the passing of the 12-million-visit barrier, the state's new benchmark figure is 13 million visits. In support of this figure, he noted that the state's visit total this year could have been even higher had the timing of the Christmas and Easter holidays been more favorable.