After slow start ski resorts nationwide bounces back

According to a report from the National Ski Industry Association, ski areas across the nation saw strong business during the 2012-13 seasons.

Although the rise in the Rocky Mountain region is just about 1.9 percent, Skier visits rose 11 percent in the United States.

In southwest Colorado the season started slowly, but picked up after the holidays.

“Despite the slow start to the season, overall Durango Mountain Resort was about on par with last season,” said Kim Oyler, spokeswoman for the southwest Colorado resort.

“Thanks to help from Mother Nature and our mountain operations crew, Durango Mountain Resort was able to extend the season one additional weekend and closed on April 7,” she said.

U.S. resorts experienced slow starts be subsequent to a strong snowfall in mid-December.

Comparing to December last year snowfall for December this year nearly tripled.  And compared to 2012, snowfall was weaker in January, strong in February and about even in March,.
“It started real late,” said Richard Bodiford, co-owner of End Industries, an Aztec shop that rents ski equipment. “We missed a lot of Christmas break business, but the middle picked up all right.”

The Four Corners was blanketed with snow soon after Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort closed on April 7, the final insult indicates.

“We got some in early March and after the season closed it’s been snowing left and right all over Colorado,” Bodiford said.

The winter was the eighth-best for the Rocky Mountain region in the past 34 years, the report said. The association did not release data for individual resorts.

The national survey of resorts spotted other trends:

Snowboarding was down for the third straight winter. In 2012-13, snowboarders made up 29.6 percent of total visits.

Season pass sales dropped as more skiers bought daily tickets. Average season pass sales fell 4.3 percent.

Ticket prices rose. The average adult weekend ticket cost $86.17, up 4.3 percent.

Snow sports remain popular, but resorts face a variety of challenges, the report said.

“The popularity of skiing and snowboarding remains high, but weather conditions, economic headwinds, competition from other leisure activities, and other factors are contributing to the challenges ski areas face,” the report said.

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