DENVER (KDVR) — A trade association that represents nearly two dozen ski resorts in Colorado is projecting that the 2021-22 ski season broke records for visitation, as the pendulum swings back from a pandemic dip.
Colorado Ski Country USA produces a report every year for its annual meeting. For its 22 member ski resorts, which include Copper Mountain, Aspen, Arapaho Basin, Loveland, Telluride and Winter Park, CSCUSA saw visitation increase by 14% this past season.
The organization projects the season will break the previous skier visitation record for Colorado, which was 13.8 million visits during the 2018-2019 season, by a few hundred thousand. It is branded as a projection for the entire ski industry, because the organization doesn’t have exact numbers for non-member ski resorts, but has been calculating visitations for more than 30 years.
“Despite the challenges our mountains faced early in the season, we are pleased to report that our business has recovered from the worst impacts of the pandemic,” CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills said in a statement. “This winter’s visits have had a positive economic impact in our communities and in our state, while bringing with them challenges that come with growth in visitation.”
Mills said the numbers are impressive when you factor in the fact that this season saw less-than-average snowfall with an average of 222 inches this season, which is down 16% from the 31-season-long average of 264 inches.
The 2020-21 season totaled 12 million visits, according to CSCUSA.
This coincides with a trend across the Rocky Mountain region, which also saw record-setting visitation across the six states in that area.
FOX31 reached out to Vail Resorts, which is not part of CSCUSA, to see how its visitation numbers compared. This story will be updated when that information becomes available.