Colorado Resorts Report 9.34% Visit Drop

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Denver, CO, Mar. 23--Colorado Ski Country USA's 25 member resorts reported a 9.34 percent drop in skier visits through February 29 from the previous year, announced John Frew, president and CEO of the resort organization. Total skier visits reached 6,784,499 by the end of February, 699,280 fewer than last year's numbers for the same period. Following what seems to have been a national trend, Colorado's skier visits were off by 17 percent at the end of December because of a lack of snow early in the season. That anemic beginning improved in mid January as the snow really began to fall and started to rebound in February due to strong President's Weekend visits throughout the state.

Aside from light early season snowfall, Y2K-related worries were alsoblamed for the drop in numbers, but Frew said plentiful snow in Februaryand March should help extend the seasons at some resorts. Beaver Creek andPurgatory have announced they would stay open later this season and a lateEaster should help other areas recoup some of their losses.

Skier visits are tracked in three groupings: Front Range resorts reported a6.42 percent increase, Front Range destination resorts (those with a bedbase) reported a 4.86 percent drop and destination resorts more than atwo-hour drive from Denver reported a decrease of 18.23 percent.