Colorado Resorts on Pace for Record Visits

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SAM Magazine-Denver, Colo., Mar.14, 2006-Colorado resorts hosted a record 5.2 million-plus skiers and snowboarders from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, according to Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA). This represents an increase of more than five percent over the same time period last season, and more than 230,000 visits ahead of the state's previous best January-February period, in 2004. Coming on the heels of a record early season, Colorado resorts are one step closer to exceeding 12 million skier and snowboarder visits for the first time ever. The state's visits peaked at 11.98 million in 1997-98.

Front Range Destination resorts continued to lead the charge with an increase of nearly seven percent, or 200,000 over the prior year's January-February results. The Gems (smaller, mostly local-oriented areas) were up more than six percent, or nearly 30,000 visits, with Destination resorts up nearly two percent.

Through February, Colorado recorded 8,345,275 visits, compared to 7,917,024 a year earlier. This year's total is more than 11 percent above the state's five-year average.

"We're seeing several trends that favor Colorado, including an increase of 23 percent in skier visits for our Colorado Gems over their five-year, year-to-date average," said CSCUSA president and CEO Rob Perlman. Of more immediate importance, a recent series of storms leaves the state's resorts poised for a strong spring showing.