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SAM Magazine--Denver, Colo., Jan. 17, 2005--Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) reports 2,928,353 skier visits for the period from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31, 2004, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period last year.

"We are encouraged by strong patterns in out-of-state visitation for domestic and international markets alike," said Rob Perlman, CSCUSA president. Colorado destination resorts saw a 4 percent increase during the 2004-05 period compared to 2003-04 and a 7 percent increase over 2002-03. Colorado Front Range destination resorts saw a 6 percent increase over 2003-04.

With the weak U.S. dollar and heightened awareness among Colorado's international markets, international business continues to be strong. "We're optimistic that this season will surpass pre-9/11 visitation numbers," said Perlman.

The Colorado Gems/Front Range resorts saw skier visits rise 27 percent for the period over 2003-04 and 10 percent over 2002-03. Early openings at both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin helped account for the increase. \