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Colorado crushes competition, Vermont makes dough without snow

1aspen-highlands-bowlColorado is still ski king of the US, especially this winter when Aspen and Abasin just kept getting dumped with lift spinning on well into spring. Meanwhile, Vermont still made decent dough despite a snow drought and a resulting 31% drop in skier visits.

First – the big winner: Colorado now accounts for 24% of the country’s skiers visits. Colorado resorts likely topped  12.5 million statewide – a new record, with half of those tracked at Vail Resorts, and the remaining at Colorado Ski Country USA’s 21 member resorts. heather-simba2Vail Resorts dropped out of the Colorado ski organization in 2008.

Vail Resort areas in Colorado include Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge. These Vail properties saw visits up 18.2 percent from the previous season, to 9.7 million from 8.1 million. Vail Epic Pass sales for 2016-17 were up approximately 34% in revenue! Hey, I bought one – its a deal. And they’re clearly selling a big pile of ‘em.

snowmaking_skierComparatively it was a rough winter in the North East. Vermont skier visits were 3.2 mill, down 30% from a record 4.6 in 2014-2015 (a good snow year). Last season in New England marked the biggest one-year melt-down since the winter of 1980. Snow was at a big low, just 72 inches of snowfall at Stowe’s Mt. Mansfield summit stake, the least since the early 1990′s. Stowe’s snow in 2015 was twice that at 146 inches. Stowe’s record was 2007 with 3ice-arena-spruce-peak327 inches of pow. If there is some good news for the Green Mountain State, Vermont ski resorts account for typically $52 mill in revenue, but that number was down less than the skier visits, only $1.7 mill less, despite the 31% drop in downhillers visiting. I guess people still came to stay and play in the manmade snow, and maybe hit the waterpark at Jay Peak and the ice rink at Okemo and Stowe.

paddle_hrb1That’s all the ski news I have for you on the sunny spring day. Time to go SUP, Stand Up Paddleboard to stay in ski shape. #winteriscoming!

Stay well, ski often. Check back for ski news and to plan your next ski trip to Austria, Colorado or Canada.

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright, Photos by Greg Burke, property of LuxurySkiTrips.com