Colorado saw 7.1M skier visits in 2017-18, besting bests 5-year average, dropping 2 percent from last year | PostIndependent.com

Colorado saw 7.1M skier visits in 2017-18, besting bests 5-year average, dropping 2 percent from last year

Summit Daily Staff Report
news@summitdaily.com

A skier reacts after skiing on the pond in the Red Bull Slopesoakers pond skimming competition on Saturday, April 14 at Copper Mountain Resort. The event is part of the resort's closing weekend celebration, as Copper closes for the season on April 15.

Despite this season's snowfall struggles, Colorado Ski Country USA announced on Thursday that 2017-18's skier visits at its 24-member ski resorts tallied 7.1 million, just slightly ahead of the five-year average.

But compared to last year, the number of overall skier visits dropped by 2 percent.

"These end of season numbers are impressive when looking back over the entire season," Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills said in a statement. "We faced historically low snowfall in the early part of the season and resort operations crews deserve credit for their tireless work to get slopes open and operating during an extended period of early-season conditions."

To help the end of season numbers, Mother Nature delivered timely storms during the December holiday period and significant snow totals in advance of both Martin Luther King and President's Day weekend. That was before the weather system settled into a more consistent snowy pattern by mid-February.

March was a busy month across the state with spring breakers travelling from near and far to enjoy deep snow totals and warm bluebird days with resorts seeing strong monthly visitation totals. Many resorts experienced their best snow conditions in late March and early April and welcomed visitors over the well-timed Easter holiday.

"There was exuberant pent up demand and skiers and snowboarders flocked to the slopes in the latter half of the season, allowing resorts to finish on a strong note," Mills said.

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Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort. These numbers are preliminary results and subject to final adjustment by Colorado Ski Country members.

Colorado Ski Country USA this year welcomed two new members: Echo Mountain outside of Idaho Springs and Kendall Mountain in Silverton.