Ski resorts don't see jump from Monday Noght Football exposure

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The snow that fell before the Denver Broncos/Oakland Raiders game Monday night did little to increase reservations at ski resorts.

''I wish I could say phone calls went through the roof, but they didn't,'' said Bill Tomcich, president of Aspen Central Reservations. ''Monday Night Football was a great game, but it wasn't a great blizzard and it didn't have the impact we were all rooting for.''

About 6 inches of snow fell in Denver before the Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders in overtime, 27-21. Mile High Stadium crews had cleared the field of snow and the snow stopped falling shortly before the game.

Snow during a Monday night football game has provided a boost for ski resorts in the past.

Many national media outlets including the Weather Channel and Paul Harvey's radio show covered the storm. And that did increase calls to some locations.

Calls to the Breckenridge Resort Chamber on Monday morning jumped 33 percent over Friday's volume, said Linda Kukulski, director of public relations for the organization. Hits on the chamber's Internet site also increased 25 percent, she said.

Aspen, which has delayed the opening of Aspen Mountain and Snowmass until Thanksgiving, received between 10 and 12 inches of snow from the storm. Lodging there for Thanksgiving is still wide open, while bookings for the Christmas and New Year's holidays are running about 8 percent below last year, Tomcich said.

Telluride Ski Resort celebrated its opening day Tuesday with 9 inches of new snow. But the snowfall didn't do much in the way of increased bookings, said spokeswoman Virginia Lucarelli.

''There's no question the snow gave everyone a shot in the arm in terms of morale,'' she said. ''As far as central reservations, we really didn't see much of an increase.''

Eleven of the 25 ski resorts that belong to Colorado Ski Country U.S.A. have pushed back their opening dates because of lack of snow and temperatures too warm to make much snow. Twelve resorts will not be open for Thanksgiving, compared with nine last season, according to data provided by the trade association.

Winter Park also was able to say thanks for the snow. Calls to the central reservations line there were up about 30 percent over Friday, with most of the bookings for Thanksgiving weekend, said spokeswoman Joan Christensen.

Beaver Creek also announced it is opening Wednesday in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

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