“It certainly wasn’t our fifth-best season ever”

While the United States ski industry as a whole had its fifth-best ski seasons in its history, the resorts that are a part of the Aspen Skiing Company struggled to achieve their average attendance totals. According to The Aspen Times, visitations at Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass were down around 20% based on their five-year average. The company recorded just under 1.2 million skier visits, only down 3-4% compared to the 2019-20 season that had the potential to be record-breaking, but there were the Colorado Covid Lockdowns that shut the season down in March A big cause of this was a lack of international travelers, along with a slim amount of “long haul travelers.”

January was the roughest month of the season for Aspen Skiing Company. For one, Covid-19 was causing mass infections, leading Aspen County to create some of the strictest Covid-19 requirements, as a negative test upon arrival to their airport was needed to shred, or you would have to quarantine for ten days upon your arrival. Australians, who are one of Aspen’s biggest markets, avoided coming due to Aspen’s restrictions, as well as lockdowns of their own. The snowfall in January was abysmal as well, leading to fewer people coming from metro areas and sticking to their local mountains instead.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Aspen Skiing Company this past season though. They replaced the Big Burn quad with a high-speed, six-pack lift, and snowmaking upgrades were made. Season pass sales and usage went up big time, as locals got to avoid the typical crowds associated with Aspen.  Late season attendance was up as well, as there were multiple big storms that hit Colorado in March and April. Prime booking season is coming up soon, so if there are still restrictions in their target markets in Europe, Asia, and Oceania, it could cause another lull for next season. Aspen is trying to counter this by offering refunds in case of further Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. With things starting to return to normal in the United States, next year has the potential to be a major bounceback season for the Aspen Skiing Company.

Image Credits: Unsplash, Aspen Snowmass

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