According to Colorado Ski Country USA, Colorado Ski Resorts recorded an estimate of twelve million skier visits, an improvement of 7.6% from the pandemic altering 2019-20 ski season. While skier days were down 3.7% from their five-year average, Colorado was only one of few states in the country that had capacity limitations. The decline in the usual average was due to the major absence of international visitations that help fuel visits to major destinations like Aspen, Breckenridge, or Vail. In-state were up and they hosted a record number of out-of-state visitors, which helped soften the blow.
“Despite the challenges our ski areas, our mountain communities, our employees, and our guests faced throughout this COVID-impacted season, the industry is pleased with how this season turned out,” Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills said. “Colorado was one of only two states in the Rocky Mountain Region where ski areas operated with a variety of capacity limitations this season. This created significant operational challenges and is reflected in the more modest increase in our visitation numbers compared with some of our neighboring states. Ski areas provided guests a much-needed outlet and some sense of normalcy during a very difficult time for all of us. We’re proud of our work this season and if the demand for skiing and snowboarding we saw this past year continues, we expect to see a robust and continuing rebound from the pandemic.”
The resorts faced many challenges to starting the season off. Covid restrictions caused capacity limits for indoor dining, lessons, and events. Below average snowfall made for weaker than usual conditions until the significant accumulations began in the spring. The overall snowfall total was fifteen percent below the thirty-year average. A strong vaccine rollout and improving conditions helped boost late-season visitation. Improvements in infrastructure and technology help simplify the skier experiences before and after their arrivals. It’s safe to say that you can expect a major bounceback year for Colorado next season.